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The Hands-On Project Office has taken the reader on a journey of exploration and self-examination. Throughout, the text has focused on service and project management delivery within an IT organization and how simple process changes can lead to higher customer satisfaction. To the author's way of thinking, a lack of clarity around business processes, stakeholder communications, and customer expectation management, rather than technological failures, leads IT operating units and those they serve down unhappy, sometimes torturous paths. The IT project management office (PMO) support team can address many of these issues by attending to the details of delivery management. To that end, this book and its accompanying tool set provide insights into the hows, whys, and wherefores of the PMO service and business model. In doing so, the book offers a starting point for the reconsideration of those methods and practices vital to the success of an IT organization.
To provide the proper context for these deliberations, Chapter 1 established an internal economy model for IT organizations, including a perspective on their operational, organizational, financial, and human resource dimensions. Chapter 2 discussed the roles and responsibilities within typical IT service and project delivery processes, as well as critical factors in their ability to deliver. This chapter then considered the likely benefits of creating a working PMO or its virtual services delivery group alternative. In short, the author can support a working model in which PMO-like activities are factored into the roles of IT management in lieu of an institutionalized solution, but such an arrangement may not function as well as an independent, objective, and highly focused PMO. If Chapter 2 focused on doing things right, Chapter 3 explored doing the right things, outlining a practical process and tool set for determining and pursuing IT investments of the highest priority to the enterprise. Here too, I carved out an important support role for the PMO in achieving desired outcomes.
The next three chapters dealt with the core services of any PMO: service delivery management, project management, and business process analysis and documentation. First, Chapter 4 examined service delivery management best practices, including the design and implementation of SLAs, the measurement of service level performance, the maintenance of reporting processes, and the more general support of the IT customer relationship management (CRM). Next, Chapter 5 took a focused approach to project management best practices, encompassing project scoping and commitment making, risk and resource management, the oversight of day-to-day project engineering and delivery processes, delivery measurement and reporting processes, and the more general coordination of IT project activity at the business unit portfolio and enterprise levels. Lastly, Chapter 6 offered a comprehensive tool set for discovering and documenting customer needs in ways comprehensible to nontechnical users but highly relevant for those assigned to build, operate, and service IT systems. For each of these three functional areas, I have married years of practical experience with simple, easily implemented, and proven tools that offer a starting point for the reconsideration of established processes. I also demonstrated the vital role that PMO personnel can and should play in the delivery of these services and process disciplines.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 offered two case studies that illustrate the significant benefits of knowledge management and Web-enabled collaboration in enhancing IT organizational performance. Chapter 7 demonstrated how an IT organization can promote best practices and the leveraging of IT community knowledge to improve team productivity and service and project delivery. As the creators or curators of the organization's process documentation, the PMO team is best situated to provide this valuable and complex KM function. As objective third parties to delivery, PMO personnel also enjoy a better sense of the opportunities for reuse and leverage within this vast array of documentation.
Similarly, Chapter 8 considered the PMO's support role in a collaborative IT architecture planning and asset management process. Because they are directly involved in chronicling all strategic project work, PMO personnel will be among the first to learn of changes in the organization's technical direction and how these decisions might influence current practices and the embedded base of existing IT. Furthermore, because they tend to be more aware of technical needs across the IT organization, PMO teams also have the right perspective to alert and prepare those parties most likely to exploit new IT investments as these come along. As in the prior KM case study, the PMO team is not a passive observer but works directly across IT to catalyze the reuse and repurposing of artifacts and corporate knowledge.
These illustrations, models, and case studies offer a lens through which the reader may compare and contrast a set of real-life scenarios and proven recommendations with his or her IT organization's own practices. Although The Hands-On Project Office offers no absolute truths, I hope that my ideas may be adapted and applied to address your team's particular management needs. In some instances, you may be obliged to readjust my frameworks to make them more in keeping with the context of your business. Others will work for you right out of the box. At the very least, you will find any number of useful ways to assess the current effectiveness of your IT delivery teams and the ROI for looming IT investment opportunities. Most importantly, the case made here for a PMO asks you to consider which aspects of these models and tools may be implemented for greatest impact in your own IT shop.
Once you have recognized and internalized the value proposition for a PMO, you must find a clear and cogent way to sell this idea to two tough constituencies. On the one hand, you will be faced with convincing enterprise leaders (i.e., your potential sponsors) who will view the expenditure on a PMO as merely an increase in overhead. Here, you must make a clear link between the deliverables of the PMO and an overall improvement in IT team cost and performance. On the other hand, you may find that your own IT staff objects to what they perceive as encroachments on their own areas of responsibility. Here, you must demonstrate that the work of the PMO complements and does not subvert their efforts. Furthermore, you must show that its portfolio of value-added services closes the gaps among existing IT practices while enhancing the resources allocated to particular aspects of IT work.
To be sure, neither sale will come easily. All of these concerns have validity and should be addressed before the rollout of a formal PMO implementation. Therefore, it is essential that the IT leadership makes a strong case for the investment. This chapter considers an array of arguments to win stakeholder support for launching and maintaining an IT PMO, beginning by reframing some of the questions that opened The Hands-On Project Office and then revisiting the ROI model featured in Chapter 2.  As before, tailor the frameworks that follow to fit the particular circumstances of your business setting.
The complete PMO ROI analysis tool may be found at The Hands-On Project Office, http://www.crcpress.com/e_products/downloads/download.asp?cat_no=AU1991, chpt2~9~PMO value calculation~model and template.
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