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Benchmarking Your PMO

Benchmarking Your PMO
By Tushar Patel

Every year, Innotas conducts a survey of project management professionals – Project Managers, PMOs, CIOs, and IT Management – to help get a sense of trends in project and portfolio management. Over the years, several trends seem to continue, while new insights always seem to enter the forefront, regardless there is always something interesting to share, debate, and reflect on.

Here are my favorite findings from the 2016 survey:

Over 70% of organizations report not having enough resources to meet incoming project demand

This is one of those findings that I do not find surprising, in fact, I am surprised that this number is not 100%. I have never come across any organization that has resources sitting on the sidelines, just waiting to be utilized. There is always more work to be done than available resources to carry out the work. The question always is, “Are my resources working on the right things?” They are always busy and you are always resource-constrained, but how effaective are your resources? Read the Complete Article

The Importance of a Project Management Office (PMO) and Who Needs One

The Importance of a Project Management Office (PMO) and Who Needs One
By Diana Eskander

Project management office (PMO) is a buzzword that’s been gaining a lot of popularity and attention. It’s a word that many organizations are gravitating towards and with good reason. However, the question of who needs a PMO and when it is most valuable for an organization, is an important one to ask.

The PMO is a department or group within an organization that defines the standards and processes for project management. The most effective PMOs reflect the culture and strategy of its organization and are important for establishing (and maintaining) consistency, efficiencies and management of costs. While these departments can certainly be instrumental to project success, this does not mean that they are appropriate for every environment.

A perfect analogy to help you visualize what a PMO really does and why it is essential for certain environments (and not for others), can be seen when comparing it to an air traffic controller, whose job is to coordinate the movement of air traffic and to make sure that aircrafts stay a safe distance apart. Read the Complete Article

Does Anyone Benefit from Your Project Management Information System (PMIS)?

Does Anyone Benefit from Your Project Management Information System (PMIS)?
By Kiron D. Bondale

A project management information system (PMIS) is not an investment which most companies would make lightly. The one time and ongoing hard costs coupled with the change management effort involved in implementing such tools can be significant so it is reasonable to expect that there will be some tangible value derived once the dust settles.

Unfortunately, in spite of PMIS’s being commercially available for more than a couple of decades, they sometimes provide us with a live example of the Abilene paradox with everyone involved being fully aware that their system is a joy and money-leeching false deity which bestows no boons on anyone, least of all those who are required to offer information tithes to it on a weekly basis. Yet, investment in the system continues unabated, and the mandate to use it is frequently reinforced. Read the Complete Article

Can You Prove that Your PMO Has Improved Project Delivery?

Can You Prove that Your PMO Has Improved Project Delivery?
By Kiron D. Bondale

Some project management offices (PMO) are like Rodney Dangerfield – they don’t get no respect. While there are many causes for a PMO to be shut down, the inability to demonstrate their value proposition is one of the more common reasons.

So how can a PMO prove that there has been an improvement in project delivery?

To answer this question, we need to identify one or more metrics which will be used to represent project delivery capability. A commonly used metric these days is time to market which could be calculated as the duration from the start of project investment to the first delivery of customer-facing value.

You might think that it would be a simple matter of calculating the average time to market based on a sample of pre-PMO and post-PMO projects, but this is not statistically defensible. Read the Complete Article

Strategy and Tactics = PMO Success

Strategy and Tactics = PMO Success
By Lindsey Marymont

Planning is often an overwhelming yet exciting time as you are mapping out the road ahead. Having a good sense of what you would like to get done over the year, recalling how far you were able to come, and forecasting on paper (or in the cloud) the middle ground of what is realistic for the coming year. Now, we never know what will be in store, but thinking in terms of “years” rather than quarters or cycles gets pretty exciting.

But planning isn’t just a once a year thing. In order to be successful, planning needs to be two-fold: upfront, strategic planning followed by continuous, tactical adjustments. Here is why it is critical to have both.

Strategic Planning

When you think about annual planning you might be thinking of pages and pages of spreadsheets, tabs and formulas that would make any sane person go cross-eyed. Read the Complete Article

5 Ways For PMOs To Give Back

5 Ways For PMOs To Give Back
By Tushar Patel

The holidays are a great time to take a step back and reflect on the year. With #GivingTuesday just a few days ago and an inspiration to give back to our communities, we thought it would fun to cover ways the PMO can give back to their internal community – the organization.
PMOs are constantly giving back to their organizations, as you start to think about 2016, here are the top things to consider adding to the list:

  1. Adding More Business Value

    If there is one thing a PMO can do to help themselves and their organizations, it’s to focus on adding more business value. Too often project management professionals focus on the output of their efforts, and not on their outcomes. For example, focusing on project completion or hitting project milestones – while all of these are great and necessary metrics to track, they do not do much in the way of assessing the impact your efforts made on the organization or the business as a whole.

Read the Complete Article

How Resource Requests Made Me a Thankful PMO Manager

How Resource Requests Made Me a Thankful PMO Manager
By Kristyn Medeiros

Thanksgiving time always gives me the chance to take a step back and look at all the things that I am grateful for. Of course, I am thankful for family, friends, my health, and all the things that make my world go around. But beyond that, there are things in life I view as “niceties” and make my life and job a lot easier.

This year, I am especially thankful for resource requests. You laugh, but I’m serious. A few years ago, my job was crazy, and honestly, miserable. As a PMO Manager, I supervised our entire PMO and needed to make sure everything ran smoothly. The team of project managers were executing the process to the letter, yet somehow we were still consistently delivering projects late. We invested in professional project management training. I walked through each project with them, going over every detail. Read the Complete Article

Building a PMO: Four Key Considerations

Building a PMO: Four Key Considerations
By Kristyn Medeiros

Whether your PMO is brand new or has been around for years, the vision is one of the key components. Without it, each person is beating to their own drum and moving in a different direction. Powerful and guiding, a clear vision will align everyone to make sure we’re all moving towards the same goals.

How do you go about creating a vision? This seemingly daunting task isn’t so bad when you break it down in to pieces. In this checklist of considerations, we’ll walk through structuring your PMO vision. If your PMO already has a vision, put it to the test by seeing how it stacks up against our criteria below.

Consideration #1: What is the scope of departments/teams the PMO will interact with?

PMOs can work with one department or many. For example, an IT PMO will provide project management support to all of IT, including teams like Infrastructure and Application Development. Read the Complete Article

3 Reasons Your EPMO is Failing

3 Reasons Your EPMO is Failing
By John Steinmetz

I am going to play psychic, and tell you in advance that the answers to the following three questions for your EPMO are “no.” Here goes:

  • Do you have specific goals for your EPMO that tie to the EPMO vision?
  • Do you have a target for each EPMO goal?

  • Have you implemented an approach to measure your progress toward each target?

How’d I do? If you are like most PM groups, your honest answer to these questions is no. At best, I guess your answer is, “sort of.”

Sort of is the same as no. You either can or you can’t. If you can’t, then how do you know if your EPMO is being successful? How do you show the executive team how valuable you are to the enterprise? How do you justify the continued existence of the EPMO?

If you can’t answer those three questions with a “yes,” then your EPMO is failing. Read the Complete Article

Is Your PMO Healthy?

Is Your PMO Healthy?
By Deepa Bagal

In my experience managing the PMO for large and small organizations, there are 5 key things to monitor to make sure the PMO is vibrant, Project Managers are engaged and customers are happy.

  1. Methodology that’s easy to understand: The methodology used on a software implementation project is there to provide structure, access to tools and templates, and focus on the end goal. We use a methodology to ensure a smooth software implementation with minimal disruption.

    Key things to consider when you are selecting a project methodology to use as “the” framework for your PMO:

    1. Time to market – does the process streamline the development cycle without sacrificing quality?
    2. Customer’s bandwidth – does the methodology make it easy for the customer to contribute appropriately?

    3. Tolerance for scope creep/budget overrun – does the methodology make it easy for the PM to flag threats to the project scope and adjust on the fly?

Read the Complete Article

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