This function model
Figure 1.1: "Project Management Methodology" Function Model
A frame of reference for the project management methodology is needed to ensure that all project management development
The PMO will normally have responsibility for overseeing project management methodology development. However, the PMO must ensure that project managers and others having technical or business interests are properly represented in the methodology development effort. Therefore, a methodology development team is
The best way to ensure effective design, development, and implementation of a project management methodology is to involve the experts, particularly those managers who can contribute one or more of the following competencies:
Extensive personal project management experience in the industry
Knowledge and training in advanced project management practices
Understanding of the relevant organization's project management environment
Experience in development of processes and practices
Internal sponsorship (methodology development champion)
These characteristics should be
In addition, the PMO may want to consider using external advisors and project management
The PMO should specify and communicate the type of involvement expected of the methodology development team. It should determine whether the team will (a) serve in an advisory capacity to review and approve methodology development work that the PMO or a selected external resource
On average, the methodology development team should be able to accomplish its methodology development objectives with a minimum of three to five team members, to include at least one senior member of the PMO responsible for leading and collaborating the effort. Fewer people can staff the team, but this recommended team
Other factors also influence the actual size of the methodology development team and should be considered when convening the team. These include available development time and deadlines for completion, level of expertise of the team leader and team members, depth and coverage of process and practice development, and extent of deployment within the relevant organization.
The PMO can define methodology development team participation requirements by preparing a responsibility matrix similar to that used for project planning. An abbreviated responsibility matrix is depicted in Table 1.2. The activities that this matrix indicates represent a project effort. To that end, project management methodology development effort should be planned and
Responsibility by Team Member
Business Unit Managers
Select team members
Perform make/buy decision
Conduct methodology design
Plan methodology implementation
Plan methodology transition
Conduct methodology training
F = facilitate, P = perform, A = assist/
The methodology development team configuration should enable construction and implementation of a
The methodology deployment strategy provides a roadmap for methodology design, development, implementation, and maintenance. It contains the current and emerging strategy of the organization and can therefore be revised or updated over time. As approved by senior management, it represents the PMO's current intended approach to methodology deployment. The strategy can be shared throughout the organization, as necessary, with individuals having responsibility or business interests in the project management methodology effort.
The methodology deployment strategy is
Methodology development responsibility statement
Methodology development approach
Methodology utilization policy
Methodology maintenance responsibility statement
The PMO can adapt or expand these elements to meet the needs of the relevant organization. In general, the PMO prepares or facilitates the preparation of the methodology deployment strategy to guide and document how the project management methodology is to be established and used. Each element is described in the following subsections.
The PMO prepares this statement to outline its role and responsibilities, as well as those of any other intended participants, including the methodology development team and external consultants. This statement serves as a charter for the PMO and participants to proceed with the methodology development effort. Inasmuch as this statement may also specify approved funding and authority to act, a senior manager or executive of the relevant organization should review and sign it. However, this responsibility statement may not be necessary if the PMO charter has already adequately covered PMO responsibilities for project methodology development.
Representing a fundamental plan for how the PMO expects to introduce methodology development, the methodology development steps or phases
By identifying the range of incremental development steps that will be performed, this strategy element provides a more structured approach to project management methodology development activities. In addition, this strategy element should specify the performance and time frame for such development activities as those presented in the following sample progressive list:
Develop a single, key project management process (for example, project risk management)
Integrate technical methodology considerations into a key process
Develop a key process series (for instance, for project selection: customer identification, project definition, business case, and project approval activities)
Develop a fundamental project management life cycle process guide and flowchart
Develop a fundamental guide for project management practice
Link technical life cycle activities to the project management life cycle process
Develop a complete guide for project management practices and techniques
Integrate project management practices and techniques across the project life cycle
Develop a comprehensive project management life cycle process with fully integrated technical activities and aligned project management practices
The PMO can prepare recommendations for these or other progressive steps of its choosing for developing a structured and repeatable approach to project management. The consideration is to identify what end-state of methodology deployment is being pursued under current and pending methodology development efforts. This element, as well as the methodology deployment strategy document, can be revised or expanded to describe the current methodology development efforts.
Inasmuch as this is a strategy statement and not a detailed plan, the
This element of the methodology deployment strategy also defines (a) the PMO's perspective of the project management methodology and (b) what each methodology component to be developed will contain. The primary methodology
Project management process guide: what to do
Project management practice guide: how to do it
Project management toolkit: the means to do it
Project management glossary: definitions of project management terms
The PMO should specify which components will be developed and also determine whether any other methodology components are needed. Alternatively, the PMO may initially recommend creating only a few necessary project management procedures and techniques — a critical-technique component — to assist the PMO in providing early guidance for structured project management. This "component" could ultimately
The methodology platform addresses the means by which those responsible for project management apply the project management methodology to project work. It commonly refers to automated systems that provide access to process steps, practice and technique guidance, and an associated database of project information. For purposes of this PMO function, this strategy element considers how the PMO plans to
The PMO, with insight and assistance from the methodology development team, as well as guidance and support from the information technology (IT)/information systems (IS) department at the onset of the effort, should determine the type of platform on which the project management methodology components will reside. Factors to weigh when selecting the methodology platform include the culture of the relevant organization, project manager familiarity with automated tools, complexity of process and practice guidance, and development or acquisition costs. Moreover, the PMO should consider the fundamental types of project management methodology platforms described in the
Even in today's highly automated business environments, many organizations still use a paper-based platform for methodology deployment. Created and implemented quickly, its development can
Standard word-processing, spreadsheet, and database software applications are used to create paper-based project management methodology process guides, practice guides, and any other components. These software applications, commonly used by project managers and project team members, provide the PMO with a familiar vehicle for disseminating the methodology to users in the project management environment. The use of this methodology is further enhanced when associated business applications and templates reside on a common network for wide
Automated Application Conglomeration.
This methodology platform is a
Often, the "conglomeration" mode is actuated when the PMO
Automated Project Management Application.
This methodology platform introduces a more integrated approach to project management by acquiring one of many high-end, multiuser project management applications, which
Another important factor to consider is an application's capability to manage and guide project management methodology processes and practices. Other specialized features that facilitate activities prescribed by the methodology — such as associated project team collaboration, project reporting, and scope-change management — should also be evaluated.
Note, however, that these high-end applications generally do not provide a comprehensive methodology for project management as part of product delivery. That said, some vendors do recognize the difference between a project's work breakdown structure and a project's management methodology, and these
Automated Methodology Application Utilization. This methodology platform is characterized by the acquisition of an established, commercially available software application package to manage activities of the project management life cycle. The application contains features and functions that assist the project manager and project team in obtaining effective oversight of the processes of project management.
The automated methodology application provides an off-the-shelf solution to deployment of project management methodology. However, the software should be examined to ensure that it facilitates the performance of all project management activities required by the relevant organization. In some cases, vendors are willing to modify their product's features and functions to
Automated Methodology Application Construction.
The ideal approach to deployment of project management methodology is to construct the desired automated platform in-house. Using this approach, the PMO can control the design and development of the system's features and functions. In-house construction can be accomplished by using internal
Often, the internal construction of an automated methodology application relies on a previous paper-based design. In such cases, any paper-based platform of processes or techniques that the PMO has already developed and implemented will contribute to the construction of its automated platform.
The introduction of a project management methodology is a business decision that requires overt support of senior management within the relevant organization. The way in which the methodology is promoted, anticipated, and ultimately received for use is a key success factor that senior managers directly influence. A policy statement on methodology use is an appropriate means to convey senior management support and endorsement or, better, their
The PMO should prepare a policy statement describing the use of proposed project management methodology for review and approval by senior project managers. The best approach is to fashion the statement using a familiar format within the organization — policy, standard operating procedure (SOP), executive directive, and so forth. The means of communicating policy regarding the use of methodology may vary by organization, but the objective is the same: to
The PMO should consider including the following elements in the policy statement:
Business interest in methodology deployment
Benefits to be achieved through methodology deployment
Executive direction for use of the methodology
Statement of executive/senior management support and endorsement of project management as a
The policy statement should clearly and
A broad range of participants will have accomplished the initial development and implementation of the methodology. The PMO should deliberate and recommend whether a team of those same individuals (that is, the methodology development team) will
Similar to the methodology development responsibility statement, this maintenance responsibility statement may not be required if PMO responsibilities for project methodology maintenance are already adequately covered in the PMO charter.
The PMO also should determine when specific methodology maintenance activities would be conducted. A number of items may trigger refreshing the methodology, including: changes in project metrics; results of capability assessments or maturity assessments; changes in technology; findings of research; discovery of new approaches through application and human innovation; and developments in technical processes the methodology supports. In the absence of specific triggers, however, the PMO can schedule a project management methodology review at regular intervals, normally every 12 to 18 months for a mature methodology.
The first step in introducing formal project management processes and practices is a PMO's awareness of the starting point. The PMO should scrutinize the organization's condition in the project management environment as a prerequisite to planning and designing the type, depth, and comprehensiveness of project management methodology support that is required. An examination of current practices provides the baseline for methodology deployment. It should be assessed in conjunction with guidelines established within the relevant organization for the PMO's "Assessment" function (Chapter 6). The PMO's examination of current project management practices is presented relative to the following three activities:
Assess current capability
Analyze assessment findings
Compare best practices
The PMO will gain considerable insight into the current state of project management capability by assessing the current processes and practices used in the project management environment. This examination should begin with a simple and general evaluation of functional unit and project management involvement to determine those project management processes and practices in which they are engaged. The PMO may use an external consultant experienced in assessing project organization capability or
Current project management organization structure
Individual project manager and project team alignment within that structure
Level of upper management involvement in project management activities
Nature of project support that functional organizations provide
Extent of participation in project activities across the organization
Need for information and oversight by functional and senior managers
This preliminary look at the project management environment will provide the PMO with the requisite
Next, the PMO should undertake an assessment of current project management practices that project managers and teams use. This is normally accomplished through a survey instrument. However, it is preferable to conduct direct interviews with project managers at various levels in the organization as well as with project
The assessment must also be established and conducted against an established and complete project life cycle process. The PMO should ensure that the project life cycle it selects for this assessment contains elements and activities that are aligned with the standards it will ultimately
Identify the project life cycle activities that project managers are performing
Identify the project life cycle activities that project managers are not performing
Identify the project life cycle activities that business unit managers are performing
Identify the project management practices that are commonly used across all or most projects
Identify the project management practices that are unique and used only by one or a few project managers
Identify the project life cycle activities that involve project team members
At a minimum, the results of this assessment should provide the PMO with a basic understanding of the extent and type of project management practices currently in use. In a subsequent activity, when these data are further
In conjunction with the above assessment, the PMO also may want to pursue an examination of the human side of process performance to
Resistance and barriers to a structured approach to project management
Personal perspectives on the need for a formal project management process
Personal perspectives on what the use of project management methodology entails
Personal perspectives on critical individual and group training
Current preferences for project management practice (technique)
The results will provide user input to the methodology design and development effort.
The PMO should conduct an analysis of assessment findings to formulate a view of current capabilities. Again, this can be accomplished internally or with external assistance from project management consultants experienced in such organizational analyses. The analysis — as detailed or as simple as the PMO
Based on survey or interview results, the PMO can construct the common elements of the project management process, including those unique process elements that are not widely used. This can be achieved by preparing a preliminary process flowchart to describe what is currently being accomplished to manage projects. Although similar to and somewhat based on the project life cycle used in the earlier process assessment, this flowchart will contain only those project management activities currently performed within the relevant organization. As such, this flowchart will indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the current process relative to the standards applied.
The process flowchart can be expanded to include the common input and output to each existing process, as well as to identify who is responsible for completing each process step. However, this analysis, in particular, will indicate what deliverables are achieved through each process step and what common results the current project management approach have accomplished.
The examination provided information about how each project manager approaches project planning, oversight, and control, that is, the practices they use. In this analysis, the PMO can identify which practices are common throughout the organization and which are unique to individuals or business units. This analysis will help contrast current practices with best practices in the organization and in industry.
The assessment should have collected information regarding how project managers and their teams accomplish the processes and practices identified in the current project management approach. The next step identifies the tools used to facilitate project management activities to determine which have common use and which are unique to individuals or business units. Tools, which are discussed in greater detail in the PMO function "Project Management Tools" (Chapter 2), include automated software applications, as well as forms, checklists, and templates that assist in performing project management activities.
This analysis determines the extent to which project managers, business unit managers, and senior managers are involved in and support a formal, structured approach to project management. At a minimum, the assessment results should provide preliminary
This step in examining the current project management practice provides an additional analysis of how well the organization is performing project management in contrast to standards and best practices. Using the previously prepared analyses, the PMO can determine if and how well all essential project management process steps are being performed. This activity enables the organization to prepare a "gap" analysis of current practices against either preferred standards or a set of best practices in project management.
It should be noted that standards are inherently different than best practices. Standards represent a basis for performance: the criteria to be met and the goals to be achieved. Best practices, on the other hand, are a set of activities to be considered and pursued to the extent the user understands and values them. As such, best practices are perceptions in the eye of the beholder.
This analysis is particularly
In its development of a unique and customized project management methodology, the PMO will focus on considerations in this activity that address the needs of the relevant organization. Methodology development is an endeavor led by the PMO, but it requires frequent and detailed input, guidance, support, and approval from a variety of participants in the project management environment. To that end, a methodology development team should be formed to represent the various business interests and assume responsibility for the development effort along with the PMO.
Project management methodology development is not a simple task. Inasmuch as the highlights presented here are intended to be a guide, they are not all-encompassing of the project management methodology development effort. This undertaking requires:
Patience in constructing detailed process steps
Business acumen in defining processes and practices that provide a functional fit
Product and service awareness to ensure alignment of technical processes and interests in project management performance
Advanced project management skills on the part of developers
Strong executive and senior management support for the development (and subsequent implementation) effort
Time, since an average methodology deployment effort can take from 9 to 12 months or more from concept to completion
The PMO also can use the information presented in this section to individually prepare some of the more essential project management processes and practices that may be immediately needed to give structure to its project management effort. Moreover, the acquisition and installation of a project management automated methodology platform is rarely complete without some modification of its content to better fit the processes and practices of the relevant organization. This section can assist PMOs in deliberating and deciding where system modifications can benefit the organization.
The PMO should weigh the four fundamental methodology components of an effective project management methodology, which can be developed separately or as an integrated guide to project management.
This methodology component specifies all the steps or activities for which the project manager and project team are responsible. It usually contains a process flowchart that represents the sequence of project management activities to be performed for every project. In addition, it includes considerations for how the process can be scaled down for smaller projects or expanded for larger, more complex, and longer duration projects. This process is created for use by both experienced and novice project managers. In its fundamental form, the methodology process guide serves as a checklist of what is to be accomplished to ensure effective project management.
This methodology component contains relevant guidance regarding how to perform the preferred elements of project management as presented in the aforementioned process guide. It provides a step-by-step reference that is made available to project managers, project team members, and
This methodology component provides a reference to standard and common terms used in the project management environment. It ensures that all project stakeholders and participants understand the language of project management. As this facilitates discussions and information exchange, it also
The content of the methodology glossary is merely a listing of terms defined for use in the relevant organization. The PMO may want to consider any existing internal documentation of terminology. Alternatively, it may want to provide this component by acquiring a published document containing the requisite terms.
This component distinctly facilitates the standardization and
The process flowchart provides an overall perspective of the routine performance management activities in the relevant organization. Because its guidance will apply to all projects, care must be taken to design an approach applicable to the variety of projects to be
For the purposes of illustration and discussion, the four phases of that life cycle are:
These distinct but
Figure 1.2: Four-Phased Generic Project Life Cycle
This life cycle model can serve the essential project management guidance needs of most organizations. However, in many industries and technical disciplines, there are definitely conditions that
Without doubt, the PMO should consider the nature of its business when deliberating and defining the processes of the project management life cycle to be developed. The following indicators suggest the need for a more comprehensive life cycle model:
Projects are related to product development and necessitate separate phases for design and development oversight.
The normal project customer base is a combination of both internal and external (commercial) customers, requiring different approaches to manage internal agreements versus external proposals and contracts.
The business processes of project selection (product or service sales), customer relationship management, and the like are not fully within the purview of the PMO or the project manager.
The relevant organization performs different phases of projects in
The organization has considerable distribution of cross-functional work that is best separated by distinct project management phases.
Senior management is involved and has specified project-review points for making project-continuation decisions that are translated into project phases.
However, if methodology introduction is a new pursuit of the PMO, it may want to begin with a more fundamental process design that can be expanded at a later time.
When using the four-phased project life cycle model, the process content described in the following subsections is recommended. The PMO and methodology development team should interpret these recommended process elements for best fit within the relevant organization. Moreover, the methodology designers should consider these recommendations as an initial and fundamental approach to methodology development. More-advanced content should be pursued as organizational maturity in project management advances.
The first phase of project management deals with determining what projects will be performed, as well as preparing preliminary documents to validate the project selection decision. The following critical activities should be performed during the project management initiation phase:
Opportunity identification and qualification: Examines each project opportunity to ensure consistency with corporate objectives and business capability.
Business case preparation: Compiles all pertinent business information about the project opportunity to facilitate a project selection decision.
Project definition: This activity, which can be a separate or combined element of the business case, provides a high level description of the project in a single document (used in conjunction with financial data so that a go/no-go decision can be made).
Project selection: An assessment of the relative costs and benefits of each project opportunity, usually against established criteria for selecting projects.
Project manager appointment:
Establishes the project's lead management role by the issuance of a "project charter" document that identifies the individual assigned as project manager, specifies the responsibility and authority of the project manager,
Formal approval to proceed:
Provides for management's review of preliminary project documents, obtains management approval to proceed with the project effort, and
This phase is characterized by the formation of the project team, the preparation of a proposal, and the development of project plans to be used during project implementation. The following are the critical activities normally performed during the solution planning phase:
Project team formation:
Human resources are
Customer proposal preparation: A "planning team" (which may be the initial members of the project team) is convened to elicit, review, and validate a customer's requirements and to prepare a formal proposal document in response. The concept of "proposal" can be used even for internal customers to ensure a common understanding of the project's goals.
Contract or agreement execution: This task begins with conducting customer coordination and negotiating a contract or agreement following submission and acceptance of a "proposal" by the customer.
Vendor/contractor acquisition: The need for external project assistance is defined, and the organization initiates procedures for engaging vendors, contractors, and suppliers.
Work breakdown structure (WBS) preparation:
A WBS is developed, or
Project plan preparation: The project team meets to develop the project plan and any required supporting plans. The project team's involvement is essential because it must plan the details of its performance tasks. At a minimum, a project work plan is needed. The project work plan document normally contains the project WBS plus information about project cost, schedule, and resource utilization.
Project risk assessment: The project team reviews the project work plan (and any other project plan elements) to determine the probability and impact of potential adverse events on project management performance and project success.
The project team's planning efforts may include developing the following additional project plan components:
Risk management plan
Quality management plan
Contract management plan
Test and acceptance plan
Change control plan
Customer relations plan
The project planning effort may also include preparing preliminary technical designs and related documents if these are not
The solution implementation phase (sometimes called the execution phase) involves performing the technical work needed to achieve project objectives. The following critical activities are normally part of the solution implementation phase methodology:
Project tracking and control: Along with monitoring and managing project schedule, cost, and resource utilization, the project manager takes corrective actions to minimize cost, schedule, and performance variance when preestablished variance thresholds are exceeded. Tracking and control activities include the ongoing management of risk, quality, and change control.
Customer interface management: The project manager and project team perform these activities to deal with the customer on a day-to-day basis, manage customer expectations, and keep the customer involved and informed concerning project decisions and progress.
The project manager and project team carry out these activities to tend to
Contract administration: The project manager or assigned specialist identify and perform actions needed to manage the customer contract.
Project documentation management:
Requirements are established for documenting, distributing, and disposing of project plans, progress
This final project management phase ensures a smooth and distinct
Customer acceptance: A process is established for reviewing contract requirements and associated deliverables, providing for closure of customer and project issues, and obtaining written customer sign-off and formal acceptance of the project.
Project team dispersal: Project team members are reassigned, and groups and individuals are recognized for their accomplishments.
Contract closure: This activity (in coordination with the company's contract administration office) entails overseeing the end of contract actions with an emphasis on monitoring and managing the final customer invoice and receipt of payment.
Operations and maintenance transition: This activity includes any actions (such as training, documentation, and transfer of responsibility) necessary for facilitating the transfer of processes, equipment, or systems to the ultimate user.
Project documentation disposition:
Materials developed and maintained during the project (such as project binder,
As the PMO designs the life cycle process, the following is the suggested content for each process element, as can be presented in the methodology process guide:
Process flowchart with a statement of each phase, activity, and task element
Process description for each phase, activity, task, subtask, and so forth
Process input and output (deliverable) for each process element
Process responsibility, assigned to the individual(s) responsible for completing the process element
Process scalability, describing how the process element should be reduced or expanded according to project size, value, duration, and complexity
The PMO should determine whether any other elements would enhance the process presentation or benefit users of the methodology. These can be included at the discretion of the methodology development team.
Process guide development is usually performed in association with the introduction of a complete project management life cycle. However, the PMO can begin its effort with process development for specific project life cycle phases or for identified critical process series.
This activity addresses the "how-to" aspect of project management. For the PMO and the relevant organization, it is the "how-we-do-it" approach to project management. The practice elements can be directly aligned with process element or prepared in a more general, life cycle approach. That is to say, the practices deployed may apply to more than one process element, and they can be described in the methodology practice guide to
Suggested content of the methodology practice guide component includes presenting guidance to perform the following essential project management activities:
Select and initiate projects
Define a project
Specify project needs and requirements
Establish a project structure
Form and manage a project team
Develop a WBS and project work plan
Estimate project costs
Develop a project schedule
Estimate project resource utilization
Develop project support plans
Manage project stakeholder communications
Manage project reporting
Manage project documentation
Manage change and control scope
Manage project risk
Ensure project quality
Manage project team performance
Track and control project work
Manage project deliverables and acceptance
Manage customer contracts
Manage customer relations
Manage vendors and contractors
Close a project
The components in this list provide some degree of coverage for project management activities across the entire project management life cycle. However, when first introducing a structured approach to project management with less than a full life cycle methodology, the PMO can consider and select individual components from this list for early development.
The methodology deployment strategy discussed earlier will provide guidance for how the project management methodology will be deployed for user access. Of the several methodology platforms considered, the PMO will basically treat project management methodology deployment as a paper-based document or as an automated application. The fundamental steps for introduction of these two platforms are described in the following subsections.
This methodology platform compiles those methodology components in document format for distribution to users. Depending on the relevant organization's needs, it can be either a formal or informal publication. However, it is important to ensure that the methodology document is distributed to all stakeholders requiring it. Project managers and project team members,
It is imperative that the PMO be aware of the effort required to produce and distribute even a simple methodology guide. This aspect of methodology deployment can affect the timeliness of methodology introduction in the organization. It may even warrant a planning effort that considers the time, cost, and resources required to accomplish the following production and distribution activities:
Compile and edit all methodology components
Obtain methodology development team/management concurrence on final copy
Identify number of users and, hence, the number of copies needed
Produce a master methodology document
Schedule and conduct formal or informal printing or publication
Prepare any additional methodology training materials
Plan and conduct publication shipment to training locations
Other factors should be weighed for inclusion in this production and distribution plan as well. In the early stages, the PMO should consider involving a user group to preview and comment on project management methodology content and to establish buy-in.
Nevertheless, there are a number of steps to consider when planning and conducting the introduction of an automated methodology platform. These include the following prominent planning elements that encumber time, cost, and resources:
Identification of available systems
Comparison of system features and functions
Selection of a preferred system
Management of system acquisition contract and negotiation
System shipment and setup
System installation and testing
Entry for project management methodology process life cycle component
Entry for project management practice component
Project management toolkit preparation or attachment
System screen customization
System report customization
Project management data entry
Project category and handling code setup
Resource pool data entry
Project information data entry (for each project)
Project management methodology system training
Prepare system-based training program and materials
Identify primary training participants (project managers and team members)
Identify secondary training participants (functional and senior managers)
Schedule and conduct system user training (features and functions)
Schedule and conduct methodology user training (processes and practices)
This list represents the highlights of what must be considered for implementation of an automated project management methodology system. It is important to reiterate that it is not intended that the PMO alone conduct such automated system implementation. In fact, the PMO should
Project management methodology implementation occurs only when an approved methodology has been developed or acquired, customized as needed to serve its project management environment, and made ready through training for the variety of users within the relevant organization. For any organization, project management methodology implementation is a significant series of activities; for large, multilocation organizations, it is a complex undertaking. Consequently, detailed planning is essential to the success of project management methodology implementation.
The following subsections describe the three primary activities that facilitate project management methodology implementation.
This activity ensures that the relevant organization is prepared for the introduction of a structured, repeatable approach to project management. It involves planning the means by which the project managers and project team members welcome the project management methodology, executive and senior managers support it, and how it is introduced for use in the project management environment.
Facilitated by the PMO, the project management methodology implementation planning effort can begin with a meeting of key implementation planners. The purpose of this meeting is to decide on what project management implementation actions will be conducted and to prepare plans
The following seven suggested actions for project management methodology implementation warrant PMO consideration and associated planning. Adding these or any other elements to the project management methodology implementation plan should be augmented by sufficient planning guidance regarding the cost, completion dates, and the resources required to conduct each methodology implementation activity.
The involvement and validation of top executives and managers cannot be understated. Their demonstrated support is essential to the success of project management methodology implementation. Conversely, the absence, or perceived absence, of executive level commitment to the established project management process will cause inadequate and incomplete implementation. The methodology implementation plan, therefore, should specify what actions executives will take and in which activities they will participate to demonstrate support and endorsement of the project management methodology. At a minimum, a key executive should take part in communicating the project management methodology use policy developed in the methodology deployment strategy.
The PMO should consider and recommend formation of a methodology users group. This group will likely play a very critical role in implementing the project management methodology by having direct and positive influence on its successful outcome. The PMO should include recommendations for user group participation, which may consist of selected project managers or all project management methodology users. In that respect, if a methodology users group fits the culture of the relevant organization, it should be included in the project management implementation plan.
The methodology implementation team works to facilitate implementation for each project and at each methodology implementation location. The implementation team should include project management mentors, who are normally characterized by their familiarity with advanced project management concepts, a complete understanding of the methodology to be implemented, and a dedication to achieving the methodology implementation objectives. The methodology implementation team members will work side by side with project managers and project team members as the new methodology is introduced. Methodology implementation team and associated project management mentor activities can
Facilitating project manager and project team first-time use of the project management methodology processes and practices
Clarifying requirements and guidance contained in the methodology
Listening to and compiling user concerns about methodology use for later analysis, which signifies that users have a voice in subsequent revisions to the methodology or in immediate actions to correct methodology errors or omissions
Observing early methodology performance to evaluate user acceptance and effectiveness of its application on projects and, later, prepare reports of findings
Working in conjunction with the methodology users group to understand and resolve implementation problems and issues
The methodology implementation team may benefit from the addition of external project management consultants to serve primarily as mentors. This provides independent assessment of the success of project management methodology implementation and initial methodology performance. It is strongly recommended that use of a project management methodology implementation team be included in the implementation plan.
The PMO can arrange for additional methodology implementation support to users by planning the following:
Establishment of a telephone help line or help desk to facilitate implementation of project management methodology
Creation of an intranet Web page dedicated to implementation of project management methodology
Use of e-mail, chat rooms, and other collaboration tools to exchange real-time, critical implementation information
This feedback mechanism provides the capability to measure and collect information from methodology users. In cases where project management methodology implementation is conducted as a "pilot" program, such feedback will support near-
In planning for this mechanism, the PMO should identify the process by which user feedback can be provided, including:
Prescribed content of a methodology user feedback report
Desired timeliness and frequency of feedback reporting
Specification of feedback report submittal process
Identification of feedback report distribution
Process for review and evaluation of feedback reports
Procedure for replying to users who provide feedback reports
The feedback reporting process must be a bona fide activity that provides two-way communication because it demonstrates serious consideration of the content of each feedback report from users. The methodology implementation plan should convey both the process and the intent of the feedback mechanism to be used.
The PMO prepares this plan to identify training for users of the new methodology. All relevant stakeholders in the project management environment should be
Project managers: Detailed project management methodology process and practice training; and, if automation is introduced, system feature and function training
Project team members: Appropriate project management process and practice training; and, if automation is introduced, system feature and function familiarization
Business unit managers: Adequate familiarization with processes and practices and, if automation is introduced, system feature and function training as needed
Senior managers: Familiarization with methodology overview to acquaint managers with the new approach to project management
A new project management methodology is usually introduced through a formal training program that is specifically designed to present its technical, management, and business aspects. However, if formal training is not pursued, some type of methodology familiarization program must be conducted for methodology users. The type and proposed dates of project management user training for each user category are presented in this plan.
The PMO should deliberate the desired approach and specify organizational promotional programs and upper-management endorsement activities that will be used to support project management methodology implementation. In addition, internal and external publicity notices and promotions can be planned to demonstrate the organization's enthusiasm as it anticipates and conducts implementation of the project management methodology.
Although this activity can be included in the project management methodology implementation plan, it is identified separately because of its importance to the success of methodology deployment. As a result, the PMO must provide strong leadership in planning and conducting the transition of individual projects to the newly implemented methodology.
The following five activities are recommended to assist the PMO in conducting a complete and comprehensive project transition planning effort. Because the process of conducting project transition to a new methodology can be very complex, the PMO should remove unnecessary transition
The PMO, with input and guidance from senior management, should lead the project management methodology implementation team in the development of a general project transition strategy. This strategy provides guidance for determining which projects to transition; which to complete using current processes, practices, and tools; and which to forgo from transition. The strategy also should address the scope of initial and subsequent implementation activities, i.e., one business unit, corporatewide, several business units, or geographical dispersion.
The transition strategy normally includes the following information:
The criteria to be used to classify which projects are candidates for transition to the new project management methodology
The criteria to be used to identify the point of transition in the new methodology for projects at different junctures in the project management life cycle
The recommended sequence and proposed schedule for project transition, i.e., by project type or classification, by business unit, and by geographical location
Project managers can be led by the PMO in the compilation of relevant information for each active project to be transitioned to the new methodology. The PMO should obtain this information from current project managers and analyze it as input to project-transition decisions. Project information includes the items listed below for each project in progress or new project expected to begin during the methodology implementation period:
General project information (project size, estimated total project value, and degree of project complexity)
Planned project start and finish dates
Actual project start date and any revised finish date
Name of project manager and number of project team members
List of project stakeholders (name, position, and organization)
Where the project is in the project management life cycle
Project manager's assessment of how well the customer will respond to changes resulting from use of the new methodology
Project manager's appraisal of the project team's acceptance of the new methodology
Project manager's analysis of the need and locations for implementation assistance and project management mentor support
The result of this review is the identification of projects that are candidates for transition to the new methodology.
The PMO arranges and conducts interviews with each project manager responsible for the projects selected for transition. The interviews are used to:
Identify current issues with the project
Review and examine project information that each project manager provides
Review relevant project documentation
Identify issues and constraints that will influence the implementation of the new methodology on the specific project
Identify the appropriate transition time period
Determine project managers' concerns relative to implementation of the new methodology
Identify and plan
The PMO leads a review of all project information obtained during the interviews and meetings with the project managers. Moreover, the PMO, along with the methodology implementation team, assesses each project's needs for an effective transition to the new methodology. The assessment and analysis should:
Evaluate the application of the new methodology to each project
Distinguish the gaps between current project documentation and documentation that the new methodology requires
Determine, through gap analysis, the completion requirements of each project relative to the new methodology
Categorize any special program issues or impacts regarding the new methodology implementation that should be considered in planning the business transition
Calculate the impact of transition on project staff workload
Identify corporation program stakeholder groups and develop recommendations for their involvement in the new methodology implementation
Determine the need for additional resources
Identify special requirements for project management support, training, and mentoring
The PMO leads the implementation team in constructing a detailed project transition plan using information obtained in the above activities. The plan presents the general transition approach to be used for all projects in the relevant organization and specifies:
The transition point in the new methodology life cycle for each project transitioning to the new methodology
Mandatory or optional new methodology documentation to be completed for each project
Additional resources required to facilitate project transition for each project, i.e., project data entry, document preparation and transfer work, and so forth
The project transition activity schedule, including training for project managers and project teams, dates of transition to the new methodology, and dates of any needed project management support or mentoring
The completion of exhaustive planning by the PMO and the methodology implementation team will serve to guide project management methodology implementation activities. Per established plans, the PMO can oversee the following four project management implementation activities.
Deliver the prescribed methodology training or other methodology familiarization programs in accordance with the methodology training plan. As suggested earlier in this PMO function, completion of project management methodology training should warrant individual receipt of any methodology documentation or system access for immediate use by training program participants.
Introduce project implementation team support and
Provide instructions to everyone involved in methodology implementation regarding the process and means to provide initial methodology use feedback. Reinforce the importance of this activity and demonstrate the value of each user's participation. Initiate feedback analysis activities, and provide replies to participating users.
Monitor, manage, and assist project managers in their efforts to transition each project to the new project management methodology. This is particularly critical for project managers who have responsibility for more than one project transition. Ensure that PMO or methodology implementation team members are available to assist with issues or to arrange for additional resource support.
Project management methodology deployment requires ongoing PMO attention. Regardless of whether initial methodology implementation is limited to a few key processes and practices or deployed as a full project management life cycle solution, the PMO must ensure its mission is achieving the desired business objectives. Moreover, the PMO will also want to examine opportunities for methodology expansion and improvement, based on the identified needs of the users, alignment with business functions, and capability for introduction of advanced concepts in the project management environment.
Three activities, described in the following subsections, characterize oversight of the project management methodology throughout the PMO's and the organization's
Because the PMO is responsible for overseeing project management methodology deployment, it is adequately positioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the deployment process as well as the problems encountered. Evaluation begins with the initial introduction of fundamental components of methodology processes and practices and is expanded for larger-scope, project management life cycle methodology implementation.
The PMO should monitor and evaluate several key points of project management methodology deployment:
Readiness for using the project management methodology platform
Completion of the methodology user training schedule
Finalization of the methodology implementation activity schedule
Accomplishment of project transitions to the new processes and practices
Achievement of initial methodology performance capability
Acceptance and satisfactory levels of initial use of the project management methodology
The PMO should track each of these items to identify and correct any difficulties that the methodology implementation team or the new methodology users encounter. In addition, problems or issues arising from this deployment and identified through
The PMO should develop procedures for conducting its methodology deployment evaluation, possibly including these in the project management methodology implementation plan. Likewise, the feedback mechanism established for methodology implementation also can be used to solicit deployment evaluation information from project managers. This evaluation can be concluded when the PMO is prepared to announce that the project management methodology deployment has been completed.
Because of its oversight responsibility, the PMO's initial decision and subsequent effort to deploy the project management methodology is a strong indication that the PMO believes there are benefits to be achieved through wide use across the relevant organization. This analysis activity facilitates the ongoing examination of the performance of project management methodology, enabling the PMO to ensure that the organization receives maximum benefits from the use of this methodology.
Methodology performance analyses should be conducted at recurring intervals that provide sufficient time to apply PMO corrective actions in response to poor methodology performance results. Upon completing the deployment of a life cycle methodology, the PMO may want to consider a quarterly examination for the first year. Then, with the achievement of favorable ongoing performance indicators, the PMO may shift to an annual examination of the project management methodology.
In analyzing the performance of the project management methodology, the PMO should accomplish at a minimum the three primary actions described in the following subsections.
Establish procedures to measure who and how many people in the project management environment are using the full or partial capabilities of the project management methodology. This analysis should determine whether there are any common indicators of use or nonuse, or any isolated occurrences of nonuse that need to be addressed. The PMO can prepare methodology utilization trend
It is assumed that a PMO will seek full implementation of the project management methodology in the project management environment, particularly if the methodology provides complete life cycle coverage of the project effort. This analysis element should be designed to indicate levels of use by project managers, project team members, and other project stakeholders, as well as the extent of use across business units in the relevant organization. The PMO can then delve into the causes for any reduced use and apply actions to rectify the situation.
This analysis item may present the greatest challenge for the PMO. However, it is essential if the PMO is to determine the benefits realized from the deployment of project management methodology. The evaluation includes identification and analysis of the following example performance indicators:
Project completion rates (on time, on budget)
Project completion rates for individual project managers
Project planning and associated scope change management impacts
Efficiency of resource utilization and management
Quality of project deliverables and customer acceptance
Level of stakeholder communication and customer satisfaction
Other indicators designed to measure methodology contributions to project performance and achievement of the relevant organization's business interests can be added for PMO analysis.
This assessment warrants development of specific indicators to demonstrate performance within the relevant organization. Therefore, the PMO should convene a senior management meeting to establish recommended analysis criteria and solicit input on areas of management interest in developing the procedures for this analysis. Because the PMO in all
The PMO should establish a self-examination mechanism to determine its effectiveness at identifying and responding to the results of methodology performance indicators. In particular, the PMO may want to evaluate the effectiveness of its project management methodology in the following areas:
Completeness and usability of performance and analysis procedures
Adequacy of performance indicators used
Quality of performance analyses conducted
Value of the frequency of analyses that the PMO conducts
The PMO has responsibility for overseeing the initial and ongoing design and development of the project management methodology. As part of this effort, the PMO must determine how often and when any updates or revisions of project management methodology will be pursued. The PMO must then plan and conduct methodology modification per the change and improvement recommendations received from project managers, project team members, and other stakeholders in the project management environment — the end users of project management methodology.
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