Project portfolio management - Part 2
- 07 March, 2012 14:48
Project management suffered an identity crisis half a decade ago, when ever-more-empowered developers were learning to work directly with their business patrons as Agile development philosophies encouraged developers to co-ordinate their activities in tight-knit teams that regularly report, evaluate, reassess and re-plan their short-term strategies.
When developers work side by side with business owners, project managers become a third wheel. Without change, some observers warned, the discipline of project management would die out altogether as its functions were subsumed by other roles. And change it did: Supported by a range of tools, PPM’s combination of breadth and depth have made it essential for the successful execution and monitoring of projects in all kinds of industries.
PPM complements tried-and-true project management nous with technologies capable of not only tracking project status forms, but of informing the process through proactive analytics and better forward planning. If business reporting tools provide a good view of where the company is now, properly constructed PPM can provide clarity as to where the company and its resources will be one year from now, or five.
While its value might seem obvious to technical staff, a recent Forrester Research-Project Management Institute survey (see Image 1) found PMOs reporting to vice-presidents of IT actually have the hardest time proving PPM’s value; PMOs reporting to the CIO do better, while PMOs reporting to business leaders are perceived as having strong value.
Rapidly shifting business conditions are giving PMOs new ways to prove PPM’s value. As VHA learned, intelligent use of PPM systems helped break down organisational silos with ready access to progress metrics, prefabricated analytics to highlight project issues, and proactive planning capabilities that can drive better outcomes.
Many companies are using the technological freedoms to try new approaches such as the creation of communities of practice (CoPs), in which project teams work together in a semi-autonomous situation while the PMO steps back and waits for results.
This approach minimises the sense of top-down interference while maintaining visibility and allowing the organisation to take advantage of disintermediating Agile practices. It also helps increase perceptions of PPM’s value, drives education to business stakeholders who don’t understand their role in projects, and improves and refines the usage of relevant tools.
However, as always, realising these benefits depends on strong business support.
“With executive support,” Forrester Research analyst Margo Visitacion recently wrote in a manifesto for PMO change, “the new PMO strips away inessentials and takes a less hierarchical approach to projects, embracing communities of practice to develop pragmatic methods that are consistent, measurable and effective.”
Visitacion sees PMOs converging into several key types: Tactical, which are organisationally static and focused on consistency; strategic, which are less hands on, have wider organisational support and foster more CoPs; and transformational, which “fully integrate into the company’s project planning and delivery… while the PMO places great emphasis on standardisation, the community must recognise and refine individual practices.”
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Yahoo Mail still down for some users, after an attempted fix
Queensland government to provide 200 services online by 2015
CIOs need to get their house in order, CFO panel says
Is Data Complexity Blinding Your IT Decision-Making?
Why IT projects really fail
Deploying Customer Service in the Cloud
Customer engagement is rapidly shifting, and one of the biggest challenges companies are facing is figuring out how to serve consumers in this new digital environment. Implementing and managing new channels needs to be economically palatable, without any disruption to existing customer care practices. This business guide provides insight into how best to deploy customer service in the cloud, detailing the four phases of an evolved customer experience management strategy.
Pathways Course Curriculum 2014
Developed by the CIO Executive Council, Pathways is a unique, flexible, self-managed, self-paced 12-month professional development program that brings together best practices, thought leadership and business insights for today’s most promising ICT professionals. Pathways is designed and delivered by leading local and global CIOs; enabling participants to capitalise on mentor CIOs personal experiences, expertise and knowledge.
Casestudy: Managing an Antivirus Service and Improve the Customer Experience
Anittel Group has provided managed technology and connectivity services to organisations for more than 15 years, expanding to become one of the world’s largest full-service, IT and telecommunications companies. Previously, Anittel deployed an in-built antivirus solution as part of its managed service offering, which addressed a number of its customers’ needs, except for individual malware infections, which occurred as often as a several times a week. In this case study, find out what they did to solve this problem.