Case Study - Growing your PMO

Introduction - How mature is your PMO?

Macallam Interim appointed an Interim Senior IS PMO Manager for a leading Housing Group.

Our client is one of the UK’s leading providers of care, housing and community services. With an impressive stock portfolio and staff numbers of several thousand, they have a large Information Services (IS) function (200+ people) to provide all group applications, infrastructure, helpdesk and training support services to the Group.

On review of the existing function, the PMO team were assessed at level 1 with no clear direction to achieve a higher level of maturity.

Issues faced

1. Insufficient trust and support between the Business functions and IS

The PMO Team were not a well-oiled machine which meant the team were not perceived as a credible team in issuing guidance as well as assisting/assuring projects/teams along their lifecycle of delivery. A culture of distrust existed between various business streams and IS partly due to the PMO not being transparent to all project team members.

2. Lack of quality management info for all stakeholders at all levels

The PMO was not clear on how new work should be delivered depending on the size/ complexity and teams affected. Was the Portfolio 323 projects or was it 130? An unclear set of projects vs BAU work led to confusion in many areas of Portfolio management. Portfolio/Programme and Project reporting was inconsistent and manual.

3. Projects constantly overrunning in time and costs

Without a high performing well structured PMO, project delivery in a portfolio of 100+ projects meant that issues such as resource constraints, no confidence in plans, lack of prioritisation led to the majority of projects being overrun.

Issues Addressed

1. Building trust and a collaborative culture

It was clear that the business required a clear communication in who the PMO Team are and the services that provided. One of the key communications was to brand the IS project delivery lifecycle. This was then sold to the organisation that on a particular launch date, new projects will follow this methodology closely aligned to Prince2. This coincided with a SharePoint launch of the lifecycle and all templates for project management.

2. Providing quality, transparent management information

By embedding an automated process for all project highlight reports to be consolidated on a weekly basis gave all stakeholders the right level of information to have meaningful conversations at a Portfolio/Programme and Project level. Ensuring PM 1-2-1 sessions were at regular intervals ensured processes were followed and helped in improving the quality of what was being reported.

3. Prioritising the portfolio creating confidence in what should be worked upon

Ensuring senior IS management set out the priorities within the portfolio ensured a clearer roadmap of delivery for PM’s and Project team members. Implementing a PPM Tool that shows the capacity of what all IS members are working on now helps with providing clearer decision making for planning new work.

A Year Later

During the course of the year the following had been implemented by the PMO:

  • All IS Project resources aligned to PRINCE2
  • Provided a consistent way of reporting project status, resource utilisation and the roadmap for delivery across all IS projects via highlight reports and a Dashboard.
  • Delivered independent assurances to the health of IS Projects via 1-2-1 QA reviews
  • Implemented a PPM Tool that will be used by IS and the Business for project management for 2014/15. This SaaS tool allows Portfolio/Programme and project managed to be managed in one place. Allowing for budget/cost mgmt, what if scenario planning, document management and reporting to be done transparently.
  • Built a team of eight PMO professionals with backgrounds in resource planning, training, risk and issue management and reporting

On review of the PMO team at the time of conclusion of the assignment one year later they are now at level 3/4 with a clear direction on becoming an Optimised PMO Click here to download more information.

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