Executive Support Services

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In the first grouping of ROI metrics, my model considers those PMO staff-support activities grouped under the broad heading of executive support services. Through the efforts categorized in the tool, including process design and documentation, business requirements gathering, competitive benchmarking, and facilitation, PMO personnel assist IT management through a sustained planning effort. As described in Chapter 3, this process is highly detail oriented and iterative. It requires a deep understanding of IT operations, a lot of data collection and analysis, and a clear sense of how best to communicate all of this content in an economical fashion to two very different audiences: line-of-business partners and the IT organization rank and file. See Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1: The PMO ROI — Executive Support Services

start example

Value/Cost Categories

Amount of Financial Benefit/Non-PMO IT Costs

IT Costs Avoidance Associated with Service Delivery Risk Mitigation

IT Costs Avoidance Associated with Project Delivery Risk Mitigation

PMO Investments in Services and Risk Mitigation

Outcomes (Net Value of Positive Outcomes and Risk Avoidance Less PMO Costs)


Planning Process







Template preparation


Process management








end example

Although the IT executive leadership will provide the direction for the planning process, and although line management will implement the plans once approved, some group must shepherd this process through its life cycle. For that matter, at its annual culmination, someone must ensure that the plan's commitments are properly conveyed to those responsible for delivery. Clearly, PMO personnel are well positioned for the facilitation/communication part of this process and, given the scope of their competencies and day-to-day responsibilities, are well suited to the front-end facilitation and analysis work, as well.

If a PMO is not in place to support these functions, the IT organization typically turns to one of three scenarios. First, it may choose to do no planning whatsoever. I will let the reader draw his or her own conclusions about the ROI of such inaction. Second, IT management may take on the planning process, which invariably means the process gets short shrift, remains at a high level of abstraction, and does not readily integrate with the day-to-day operations of the greater IT team. Third, IT management may turn to a corporate planning office or an external consulting firm for these services. Although the former option may be "free" to the IT organization and the latter rather costly, neither service provider would possess sufficient knowledge of the IT organization, its players, and its customers to ensure an end product likely to have value to the team or be implementable.

The PMO will provide executive support services at the lowest cost commensurate with a usable result. PMO staff will do so without putting an undue burden on IT management and will execute assignments as a complement to other PMO tasks. To get similar results through an external resource would be prohibitively expensive, and to employ generalists from within the enterprise, who may lack a deep understanding of IT, will usually require a considerable amount of IT management handholding. Thus, the value of the PMO to IT and the enterprise may be calculated in terms of the delivery of an essential service at incremental additional cost and without burdening the rest of IT management. Furthermore, the PMO is best positioned to link the final plan to its other work in support of IT service and project delivery teams.

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The Hands-On Project Office(c) Guaranteeing ROI and On-Time Delivery
E-Commerce Security: Advice from Experts (IT Solutions series)
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 132

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