While many companies are ready and willing to embrace internal Project or Programme delivery, they often do not have the skills, knowledge, and experience in terms of available resources to meet this challenge.
Normally, within the business there is one prominent department or Project Management Office (PMO) that supports major projects, ensures a consistent approach to project management throughout the organisation and is typically where standards, methodologies, processes, templates, tools, and records are created and maintained. Usually this tends to be the IT department, but to be successful with any Project or Programme it may be worth considering the implementation of a PMO at an enterprise level.
Without an enterprise approach to project management, including all elements of the organisation that are linked to these key aspects of Digital Transformation, you may be facing the same sort of issues we see with other deployments, such as a lack of synchronisation, slow decision making, scalability issues, benefit, and value recognition, as well as basic monitoring and reporting.
A PMO is usually created to support any major initiative and often will consist of multiple projects as the businesses look to deliver the projects and programmes and unlock the value of their investment in change.
For many clients, the task of setting up a PMO or improving a PMO’s functionality can be a daunting challenge. NWT have vast experience and pedigree of assisting our clients in the implementation of a PMO, regardless of scale or complexity.
Projects and Programmes can be straightforward or extraordinarily complex. Those that do not have strong PMO capability can tend to go off plan, costing time and money. NWT can provide the capability to help clients across their Project life-cycle journey with the expertise your project requires to unlock maximum value for your business and stakeholders.
When a strong PMO is not in place on any project, it can lower efficiency and misalignment to the end Project objectives.
NWT often see common trends acrost that show that existing PMO may not be delivering the expected Return on Investment (ROI) these can include:
• Being surprised by projects that seem to be suddenly in trouble.
• Project management practices are not spreading throughout the organisation as expected.
• The PMO has not proven to be the training ground it was expected to be for up-and-coming project managers and leaders.
PMO as a Service (PMOaaS) resolves these challenges by providing a distinct set of project management services and capability around your industry sector, business functions or problems that ultimately bring the solution to your business.
PMOaaS shifts the PMO from being seen merely as an admin function within IT towards a more progressive, customer oriented, adaptive, and responsive approach whereby PMO practitioners not only create their services, but also how they are operated, assessed, improved on, and ultimately retired, when no longer fit-for-purpose.
There are several PMOaaS models.
The Supportive PMO: The supportive PMO generally provides support in the form of on-demand expertise, access to information and expertise on other projects. This can work in an organisation where projects are done successfully in a loosely controlled manner and where additional control is deemed unnecessary. The PMO is primarily a support service that collects, compiles and reports on information. Outsourcing the coordinator role in your organisation is both low cost and quick to implement.
The Governance PMO: This model assumes that the PMO is responsible for defining and controlling use of methodologies, standards, templates, and policies related to project delivery. This is where many companies get stuck when trying to implement an effective PMO with internal staff. It makes sense to leverage the proven methods and best practices that a provider can bring.
The Directive PMO: With this model, the PMO is accountable for the project management function within the company and responsible for providing program and project management resources to run projects. This role, coupled with the governance model, typically provides the best value for your investment. This type goes beyond control and takes over the projects by providing the project management experience and resources to manage the project. As organisations undertake projects, professional project managers from the PMO are assigned to the projects.
This injects a great deal of professionalism into the projects, and since each of the project managers originates and reports back to the directive PMO, it guarantees a high level of consistency of practice across all projects. This is effective in larger organisations that often matrix out support in various areas, and where this setup would fit the culture.
Why it pays to work with a managed service provider (MSP)
The internal implementation of a PMO governance model can be costly. Building the in-house expertise and implementing the technology required to achieve any benefit can turn into expensive learning exercises that delay and often derail results. To meet these challenges, companies have turned to PMOaaS, which provides an external perspective that can help to quickly assess process and programme issues, kick start projects or get floundering project back on track.
PMOaaS should help companies improve the communication, control, execution and ultimately the profitability of projects by establishing project framework that enables better decision-making. These initiatives may include staff utilisation, on-boarding and off-boarding employees and contractors, timesheets, process management, benefit management as well as project setup and monitoring.
PMOaaS can be a key enabler for success by aligning strategy, investment, and execution. This is paramount when one looks to translate corporate strategy into tangible activities. Without formal policies in place to connect corporate strategy with execution, well-articulated management processes are likely to miss the mark on meeting an organisation’s goals. Implementing a PMO can link senior management to the inner workings of the project management team, creating seamless, effective projects that do not lose sight of corporate strategies.
If project management is not a core competency, then you could consider NWT’s PMOaaS.
PMOaaS will help reduce the time taken to set up a PMO and transform PMO into value delivering function, eliminate the operational issues in running a standalone offer and add strategic value to the organisation through implementation of effective governance. Importantly it will also provide an invaluable external industry perspective on your programme of work and help you to establish the best PMO framework and services for your organisation. In addition, you will be able to define proven best practices and approaches that will work within your own organisation and build your own capability internally.
PMOaaS can not only reduce costs, but it can also become a lever for driving business growth and innovation, organisational change management, stakeholder engagement and the facilitation of a more agile, responsive enterprise.
As with other forms of service management, PMOaaS improves operational efficiency and reduces costs. The managed service provider is entirely focused on the task at hand and understands what it takes to effectively implement and run a PMO. They also have subject matter expertise to build standards and methods that form a flexible framework while also producing predictable and measurable outcomes quickly.
Another advantage is in the cost avoidance associated with failed projects. Projects that implement the wrong solutions, take longer than planned or are over budget can be extremely costly.
One of the best strategic advantage of NWT’s PMOaaS is that your internal FTE resource can be released to focus on your core business competencies.
An effective PMO is a catalyst for greater efficiency as it allows an organisation to do more quality work with fewer resources and less risk. The result of these benefits is an improved project success rate in an organisation.
Benefits at a glance
A benchmark against which changes, and improvements can be made.
• A road map for senior leadership and the PMO to address the findings and recommendations.
• Better alignment of the business drivers with programs and projects.
• Deeper understanding and insight by the PMO and project managers of how the PMO supports senior leadership and business decisions.
Choosing the right service partner to take over your PMO and foster future success for your business?
Choosing the right outsourcing partner can make or break your business, so it pays to do some homework. Just like any company, the quality and value are largely determined by the workforce operating behind the scenes. You need to know that the managed service team that you have committed to have the experience, dedication and motivation that will help your business to thrive.
You need a partner that understands your methodologies, processes, and project organisation to make a comprehensive recommendation that ultimately identifies and prioritises project requirements, maps them with business strategy and delivers actionable insights. Only then can they define a roadmap to move from your current “as is” state to your “to be” or desired outcome.
Any managed service must start with some form of in-depth evaluation of your business’ current state including strategic business alignment, scope, planning, prioritisation, budget, and risk.
Many companies in the outsourcing market space are most successful as niche players. This type of strategy often produces success and growth because these companies focus exclusively within their core competencies. A logical extension to this strategy is to develop a strong partnership model. This will allow these niche players to provide customers with additional services as an extension of their core capabilities without taking on the infrastructure internally. There are two key elements in the foundation on which a successful partnership model is built.
First, selected partners should complement your business without straying too far from your core competencies. If, for example, your company has already developed an expertise in mobile network implementations, but you also understand the linkage to infrastructure build, then your company’s value to the customer can increase significantly by developing
partnership with a company with infrastructure build expertise. Furthermore, outsourcing these responsibilities to a second corporation will decrease the strain to your personnel who may not be fluent in this service your company is called upon to deliver only on occasion.
The second element that contributes to a successful partnership is the amount of due diligence completed before engaging another enterprise to be part of your network. Find partners that run their business in a complementary pattern to your own. Ensure that they are financially viable, and that this partnership is as important to them as it is to you and, ultimately, to your customer. Each company selected must also have the training (certification, if required), business practices, and geographic coverage necessary to meet the requirements you define. Each time you select a partner, the details of the subcontractor’s agreement and service level expectation need to be finalised so that when an opportunity presents itself, both you and your new partner will be ready to deliver to the customer.
Finally imagine being able to hold internal staff to a rigorous service level agreement (SLA) with financial and contractual penalties for missed metrics. Since this may not be feasible, focus your attention instead on defining SLAs with your PMO partner. The SLA should have strict guidelines for managing scope, quality, budget, schedules, and other risks. The benefits of outsourcing your PMO are plain to see, and we encourage you to consider it for your organisation.
How NWT can help your business
No matter how much planning happens, the Project and Programme journey can be unpredictable. Unforeseen issues and roadblocks can present themselves in any complex undertaking.
If you are about to kick off a new complex project or are struggling to keep your current project on track, NWT will help you to unite your strategic high-level view to your granular delivery milestones.
NWT understands that every customer is different in their approach, the types and scale of projects being delivered and their view on how they want the PMO to run as part of their overall organisational governance.
Therefore, we are also flexible on how we can help you as we know that the role of the PMO will be different across the lifecycle of the project(s). To that end, our service can be tailored around the specific needs of your organisation. We can provide consultancy to advise on how best to create and run a PMO, provide high-calibre, on-demand expertise or deliver a fully managed PMOaaS if that is what is right for your business.
Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that our experienced consultants have the project management skills and expertise needed to manage the engagement to successful delivery, all our consultants bring an in-depth knowledge of:
• Commercial management including effective budget management across an organisation, programme, or product view within the constraints of the project.
• Contract negotiation skills
• Envisioning the ideal solution including appropriate scoping
• Building a roadmap to success that considers both technical and non-technical characteristics of your business landscape.
• Building successful teams and helping them to maintain a focus on delivery.
• Solving issues and unblocking issues between teams or departments at the highest level
Years in the field have revealed one critical theme common across all implementations; success lies in the ability of the PMO to align itself correctly with the organisation. While this may sound obvious, it is not uncommon for misalignments to occur, whether subtle or more overt. At NWT, we have found that the most successful and valued PMO’s are the ones that continually realign themselves; sometimes adjusting their roles slightly as inevitable organisational changes occur.
When planning and building a PMO model, NWT ensures that it is done in a manner which compliments the existing structure of the organisation. As a leader in project management consulting, NWT brings you experts who can address common areas of concern including scope, resource planning, forecasting and other business demands. We can work with you to deploy a new PMO, operate a PMO or optimise and enhance an existing PMO to meet a set of evolving challenges, functions, and services.
Constant communication, incorporating organisational change management, is crucial to the success and is a core tenet of our PMO operating model. Performance measures are collectively established upfront and progress toward established goals is continually evaluated via quality and performance reviews.
There are many different roles that PMO’s can fill, and these vary from one organisation to another, but typically, the following functions may be supported:
• Centre of excellence – Developing and maintaining project management methodologies, standards, and templates. Increase organisational capability.
• Selecting and maintaining enterprise tools
• Supporting enterprise portfolio management through governance, reporting, KPIs, metrics and analysis
• Supplying project management expertise and support to project teams
• Providing project management education and training to the organisation
• Developing career paths and certifications
• Talent management – Developing leaders, project managers and team members who can drive improved project performance and step into larger roles in the future.
PMOaaS is a shift in the way that we think about project management and how we do it. At NWT, we believe that project management is about getting new things done as successfully as possible. Our PMOaaS provides access to high-quality professionals, resources, and tools at a flexible and predictable cost.
Our service portfolio offers a true end-to-end service, from IT Advisory, Business Analysis Services through to Programme and Project Delivery ensuring that your technology-oriented projects are conducted in a well-managed, consistent and discipline approach within an assigned budget and in a timely fashion.
Whether you want to kickstart or ramp up a project we can provide the expertise you need on demand. You will be able to dial resource up and down in sync with your delivery needs, giving you more control over your costs.
If you would like to understand more about our PMOaaS please contact firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your area of interest and a member of our team will contact, you to discuss how we can help.
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