Friday, October 29, 2004

The Project Management Office

There is a high and growing level of M. confidence in the utility of PM Offices. Is this confidence justified?

A remarkable paper on this topic is: An exploration of PM office features and their relationship to project performance (The International Journal of PM of October 2004). The paper, written by Christine Xiaoyi Dai and William G. Wells is based on a two-year empirical study.

A Project Management Office is not to be mixed up with a Project (Program) Office (an organizational entity established to manage a specific project, or a related series of projects, usually headed by a project or program manager). A Project (Program) Management Office is also referred to as a Center of Excellence or Center of Expertise (CoE) and can be described as an organizational entity established to assist project managers, teams and various m. levels on strategic matters, and functional entities throughout the organization in implementing PM principles, practices, methodologies, tools and techniques.

The authors have identified 6 main functions of PMO's:
1. Developing and maintaining PM standards and methods
2. Developing and maintaining project historical archives
3. Providing project administrative support
4. Providing human resource / staffing assistance
5. Providing PM consulting and mentoring
6. Providing or arranging PM training

Other less frequent PMO-functions mentioned are: maintaining communication website, portfolio m., configuration m., managing projects, monitoring and audit, project review, quality m. assurance, sales support, financial tracking and execution, capital project financial governance, budgeting, pm certification, enterprise project m. system, facilitation, organization development, strategy, project planner, assessment review, organization change agency.

Dai and Wells found that there is strong (statistical) evidence that PM standards and methods are most highly correlated with project performance. This activity should take priority over the other 5 studied, whether a formal PMO entity is established or not (!) The use of project historical archives also showed a significant correlation with project performance. Surprisingly, the other 4 PMO functions did not.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Certification for Program Managers

Hi, is anybody aware of certification programs for Program Managers? I know PMI does it for project managers but am not sure whether there is a similar thing for Program Managers.
Are there any standard frameworks/methodology for Program Management?
We are a large IT service organization and want our project managers to move to the next skill level that would enable them to manage large Programs including business, IT and other stakeholders at client site. Any information that can help in this direction will be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Enterprise Strategy and (Enterprise) PM

Incremental changes or rather transformation are the seed for the Incremental programme management. But managing such transformation to cover the entire organisation requires apporach of IT portfolio management and spanning the process across the organisation.
Thus, managing IT resource in changing business scenario comes under top priority list for most of the CIOs in bigger enterprise especially when few of the industries are undergoing
consolidation phase.

CEOs and CIOs are driving to outsourcing to create share holder value. They have thrown more terms like Real Time Enterprise, BPM etc. Causing more changes and trasnformation in the way business and IT is to be managed.

Thus, Change is becoming constant (Reminds me of strip on CNBC) and few are missing the bus. CIO are asked to manage risk, values, Investment and create assets all at one time. Winners are looking at bigger picture of managing IT portfolio with perception as below..

Successful CIO (CEO also) need to weave the business changes in their business / IT process in such a way that, change management will be effective in creating it's value for the enterprise.

If business Planning and strategy determines the changes required in organisation then effective PM can deliver the same with the effective use of Pepole, Process and Tools or better way to call it the full process as "Catalyst for Implementing such Transformation" .

I feel CIO's can bring proces discipline in their IT management by using Program Management process that can bring successful changes in organisation. I hope above would have provided some insight into use of Program Management in Organisation Change.

I would like emphasize growing significance of Enterprise Architecture which captures and offers common set of knowledge base across the organisation to specifie road map and changes at each level.