Supporting Project Delivery

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In terms of project delivery, the PMO's role is central. Without project management and business analysis services, few projects would ever meet their objectives. Although it is conceivable that the project director and other team members could take on these responsibilities, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 outline why this is not an attractive option. In contrast, in establishing a PMO, the IT organization creates a focal point and eventually a center of excellence for those competencies of greatest importance to project administration. These contributions are best summarized in the ROI tool itself. See Exhibit 3.

Exhibit 3: The PMO ROI — Project Delivery

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)


Project Delivery Management

Project A


Strategic risk


Financial risk


PM risk


Technology risk


Change management risk


Quality risk


end example

Project management is all about risk management. At the strategic level and on behalf of IT management, the PMO can monitor the positioning and interdependencies among projects as these relate to overall IT organization commitments and enterprise IT priorities. The rest of the project team will not have the focus or the necessary perspective to do so. When developments in other projects may impact the project at hand, PMO personnel serve as an early warning system and can prevent others from making dangerous assumptions about the health of these dependent relationships. Similarly, the project manager works under the direction of the project director to ensure that the resources allocated to the project align with its commitments. The project manager is positioned to alert management should problems arise.

The project manager is also the guardian of project execution best practices. This person drafts and updates the project plan, holds team members accountable for their responsibilities, and reports on progress to IT management and customers. Typically, project directors are not particularly interested in these processes. Their focus is on getting the work done. But in their pursuit of results, team leaders may overlook many of the risks inherent in complex project work. The PMO's project manager balances this perspective with a commitment to process and with an understanding of how the experiences of other IT teams may benefit the current working group. In terms of technology risk management, the project manager's knowledge of the broad fabric of enterprise IT, IT organization standards, and the status of other IT projects that may serve as predecessors to the current project can leverage the work of others and mitigate technical risks.

In all of these ways, the PMO's project managers and analysts provide considerable value to project teams. In terms of the overall success of project delivery, however, perhaps the greatest contribution of PMO personnel is in the area of change management. Here, their focus is on ensuring that the customer is positioned to receive and use IT project deliverables once these are available. This work can take on any number of aspects. First, the PMO team will document and assess the business processes to be enabled through IT. Do these processes map to the envisioned IT solution? If not, what is to be done? Second, PMO staff will ask: Are business unit personnel prepared in terms of training, and are their IT platforms sized to exploit the new technology properly once it is in place? Third, the team will consider: Are related IT service delivery processes complementary to the new relationships and needs that will emerge from the introduction of this particular technology into the business? Those assigned by the PMO will address these questions and, in so doing, ensure positive outcomes from the introduction of IT across the enterprise. Not only are these deliverables critical to the success of IT project delivery, it can be argued that only individuals who possess the skills profile of a PMO member can carry out these critical assignments.

The overall PMO contribution in project management delivery revolves around the quality of process deliverables. PMO project managers and analysts ensure completeness through the IT development/delivery life cycle. By drawing on their past experiences and the PMO's project knowledge base, they can help their respective project teams avoid past mistakes and make the most out of each project outcome. They are there to mitigate the numerous risks associated with delivery and, when things do go south, they are properly positioned to capture and communicate what went wrong, why it happened, and how to avoid such failures in the future. Surely these benefits in and of themselves constitute a significant ROI on your investment in a PMO.

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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 © 2008-2017.
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