Defining Enterprise Project Management

Enterprise Project Management (EPM) is more than just technology; it is a way of doing business, and it affects organizational structure and behavior. Although EPM is a relatively new discipline, many organizations around the world have adopted EPM best practices. In 2004, the Project Management Institute (PMI) released a new standard called the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3). OPM3 is defined as "the consistent application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to organization and project activities to achieve the aims of an organization through projects."

The OPM3 standard defines best practices for project, program, and portfolio management at an organizational level. Tools such as Project Server 2003 provide great benefits to organizations attempting to improve their project management maturity in many ways. These tools provide an easier method to manage and share data, enforce standard methods and procedures, collaborate, and provide visibility to the organization. As shown in Figure 1.1, it is the combination of people, business process, organization, and tools that provide a total EPM solution.

Figure 1.1. EPM as a total solution.

To ensure success with your EPM solution, you must understand the impact of the software within the organization and must plan for changes to all four of these components.


You can find details about OPM3 by visiting the PMI website at

Because this book focuses on an EPM tool and not on process or people, the discussion of organizational project management maturity is discussed lightly. However, it is critically important that your organization understand the importance of project management maturity in overall success. Enterprise thinking should guide your decisions on how much of the capabilities of the software your organization can embrace at any point in time. An evolutionary approach provides the best opportunity for success. Because of their experience with the project management domain and software in a variety of industries and applications, you should look to industry resources and Microsoft Project Partners for assistance when you begin this effort.

Successful implementations of EPM require organizations to look not just at software features and integration but also at the impact of managing projects across the organization.

  • What are the best ways to run projects across your organization? Are projects run consistently?

  • Are they measured consistently?

  • How are projects contrasted against each other, and is this the best way to do it?

  • What processes and best practices do you have in place to support projects?

A lack of project management best practices, a lack of resources, and a lack of portfolio management review processes are the root causes of many problems, which compounded lead to aspects of project failures. If you are preparing for an EPM implementation, take a close look at your people, processes, and tools.

There is no one-size-fits-all-instant-cookie-cutter process. A process is a guide or a roadmap. A successful implementation and adoption of EPM across your organization will encompass people and processes. Take an extensive look at your processes:

  • Do you have processes in place?

  • If so, how long have they been in place? Are they outdated?

  • Do your processes map to current roles and workflow?

  • How do tools impact your process?

  • Are some of your processes across multiple software applications?

  • Do the processes result in desirable outcomes?

Re-evaluating and putting good processes in place is key to a successful EPM solution and required enterprise thinking.

Think Enterprise

Enterprise thinking allows an organization to look at its mix of projects and operational work as a portfolio that can and should be managed as a whole. This type of approach cannot happen all at once, however, so an evolutionary approach makes the most sense because it allows an organization to gain success and a return on their investment much earlier than an all or nothing approach can do. The organization should determine what problems it needs to solve most urgently and focus on those. The areas causing the most pain should be evident fairly quickly. The following categories of questions are typical problem areas in many organizations:

  • Resource contention Are resources working on too many projects at the same time? Do you know how much work is actually forecast for the next three months? Six months? Do you have too few (or too many) people in certain skill areas?

  • Project quality How do you know when a project is in trouble? Are projects typically delivered late or over budget? Do the projects meet the customer expectations? Are project problems caused by lack of project management skills, problems with scope management, resources, or other items?

  • Key projects continually slip because of maintenance requirements How much of the work in your organization is planned rather than reactive? How is the portfolio of work divided? What percentage of resource effort is focused on the highest priorities of the organization?

Microsoft has found that the customers who are most successful in deploying its software have done so in an evolutionary manner matched to the maturity level of the organization. Microsoft has developed a series of three workshops focused on enterprise thinking for project management. The three workshops, Envisioning, Planning, and Implementation, were developed to help customers understand the core capabilities of the Project Server 2003 software and its potential benefits in their organizations and to understand the organizational drivers related to EPM so that they can implement the software and associated processes effectively. Microsoft Project Partners deliver these workshops in an iterative manner to match the maturity of the organizations and their capacity to absorb change.

Manage the Organizational Change

The main failure point for an EPM implementation has little to do with the correct installation of the software and a great deal to do with getting the humans in an organization to change the way they work. This EPM solution is going to require that people do things differently than they do today. The change may be as simple as using a newer version of Microsoft Project. It may be as complicated as migrating from a different project management solution or introducing the use of a project management tool for the first time. Either way, the personnel in your organization will be required to change the way they work. This may cause confusion and stress. Understanding and utilizing an organizational change methodology will make your implementation go more smoothly. The following brief look at organizational change is intended to be an appetizer to the full course of what you should plan for your EPM deployment.


We gratefully acknowledge Dr. William Casey and Executive Leadership Group, Inc., for their permission in the use of this material. Learn more about this Organizational Change Framework at

The Framework

The Framework of Organizational Change contains a five-phased approach to planning, executing, and sustaining the changes that you will require your organization to make as depicted in Figure 1.2. The diagram depicts two major components of organizational change: the hard change (the project) and the soft change (the change process).

Figure 1.2. Organizational change model.

The left side of the diagram shows the hard change, or the tangible activities that can be managed in a project schedule. For an EPM implementation, this side of the framework represents the actual EPM implementation project plan that you put into place to deploy your EPM solution. It contains activities such as acquiring software, acquiring hardware, installing Project Server 2003, and so on. The left side is called the hard change because it is tangible and can be easily represented with tasks on the schedule for your EPM implementation.

The right side of the diagram is the change process, or the soft change. It is focused on activities such as documenting why you are making the change, communicating on a regular basis to the personnel who will be using the system, creating buy-in, gauging where people are in the process, and so on. The term soft change is used because the work is much more difficult to represent in a schedule. The activities involved here are more subtle. They influence the way the organization will think about the change as well as how fast they will adopt the EPM solution.

Notice that leadership is depicted in the middle of Figure 1.2. Both sides of the change model require leadership from the organization as well as leadership from the EPM project manager to make both the implementation and the adoption of the system work properly.

Using this framework you will plan both sides of the EPM solution implementationboth the hard changes and the soft changes. The next sections discuss the types of activities performed in each of the five phases of the Framework of Organizational Change. In each of the five phases you have work to do for both the hard and the soft changes.

The Mobilize Phase

The Mobilize phase is all about recognizing the need for change and mobilizing the rest of the organization to deal with it. In this phase the EPM project manager works with the leadership team to understand why the organization has decided to implement an EPM solution. You need to understand the two different spectrums of why this change is being addressed. You need to understand both the compelling threat and the compelling vision. The compelling threat describes what you are trying to eliminate from your organization. It may include problems such as the inability to know what projects are being worked on, where your project resources are at any given time, and so on. The compelling vision is the future desired state that the leadership sees when the EPM solution is implementedproject data at your fingertips, resources working on the right projects for the organization, projects completing as predicted, and so on. You want both ends of the spectrum because different people are motivated by different things.

After the compelling threat and vision are defined, you need to communicate the vision and the threat to the organization. Everyone in the organization needs to realize that change is needed and wanted and why.

Other activities performed in the Mobilize phase are

  • Hard change Officially initiating the project

  • Soft change Developing the change strategy that will be used throughout the rest of the project

The Diagnose Phase

After the change is recognized, you must diagnose the current reality to understand the shortfalls that need to be addressed. Ask yourself, "Does the organization have the capability to change?" Like a doctor, you will diagnose the health of the organization and determine what the organization must change to successfully implement a major change such as this.

The organizational change methodology uses the following set of transformational tools to determine the diagnosis. A sample set of the information that needs to be determined with each tool is included.

  • Measurement What measurements and metrics exist that will either help or hinder the change? Does the organization have existing metrics? How good is the organization at collecting data? How will you tell whether the new solution has been adopted?

  • Organizational structure What organizational structure and processes exist that either help or hinder the change? Is there an executive accountable for this EPM implementation project? Is the organizational design aligned to support this goal?

  • Communication What are the typical existing methods of communication that either help or hinder the change? What communication vehicles are currently used? Do these communication vehicles work? Do the employees trust what they hear?

  • Accountability structures What are the activities that managers use that produce accountability? Do managers discuss expectations with their subordinates? How skilled are the managers at this dialog? Are consequences based on performance?

  • Rewards and recognition What formal and informal rewards and recognition programs are in effect that will either help or hinder the change? What does it take to get promoted in this organization? What rewards can be provided? Are people recognized for good performance? Are rewards linked to performance?

  • Involvement What employee participation programs exist that will either help or hinder the change? Which groups will experience the greatest impact from the change? What is the past experience with employee involvement? How skilled is the organization at employee involvement?

  • Education and training What skill deficits will be experienced because of the change? What educational and training programs exist that will either help or hinder the change? Will there be a delay between training and the use of the new skills? What other tools or job aids exist or need to be created? Is there a budget for training?

  • Resourcing What resources will be available to staff the change? Do you have the capability to recruit and hire? How long does it take to acquire a resource? Are the current resources capable of doing the required work?

These tools are used to determine the areas that are properly set up as well as those in which the organization needs to change to be successful.

When your diagnosis is complete you perform other activities in the Diagnose phase:

  • Soft change Document your findings and update your change strategy based on your findings.

  • Hard change Develop the scope statement and build your requirements for the EPM implementation.

The Design Phase

You now know what shortfalls need to be addressed based on your findings from the Diagnosis phase. It is now time to design your change process, as well as the project:

  • Soft change Design a series of tasks based on your findings in the Diagnosis phase that will help the adoption of the EPM solution.

  • Hard change Develop the rest of the planning elements for your project including the project schedule and project plan. Include the soft change tasks in the schedule where appropriate.

The Implement Phase

During the Implement phase you now implement your carefully planned change program and your project:

  • Soft change You now complete the tasks that you outlined in the Design phase while continually taking a poll of what the personnel in the department are thinking about the change and how they will work with the EPM solution.

  • Hard change Here is where you implement the EPM solution using the steps, hints, and tips outlined in this book.

The Sustain Phase

After you complete your initial implementation of the EPM solution, you need to monitor what has been accomplished to make sure that the system is consistently used the way you planned. Stability is achieved by continual correction of any imbalances that you find. During the Sustain phase, the organization should establish a continual process improvement cycle to ensure the long-term quality of the solution. The acronym, PDCA, popularized by W. Edwards Deming in his Quality Control teachings, stands for the four components of the cycle: Plan, Do, Check, Act. As in each of the earlier phases, work is required on both the hard and the soft changes:

  • Soft change Monitor the usage of the system and watch for people bypassing it or perhaps doing things the way they used to. Continue utilizing the transformational tools to sustain the change.

  • Hard change You have completed the installation of Microsoft Project 2003. Now is the time to review your lessons learned from the project.

Emphasize Process over Technology

Successfully applying an EPM approach requires that both the business process framework, which supports enterprise thinking, and the technology infrastructure, which enables these business processes, be fully analyzed and understood prior to implementation. A piecemeal or ill-considered approach to either (or both) does not serve the needs of the organization and is likely to lead to an unsatisfactory outcome.

As the subsequent introduction to the six pillars of EPM further illustrates, the business processes and the technologies that enable them are, to an extent, interdependent. You must analyze and understand how the business manages projects and communicates performance to determine how the various technologies that constitute the EPM will be optimally implemented to support these processes, and, in turn, you must understand what the EPM technologies can do for your organization to take advantage of its technical capabilities. Although it is true that an understanding of the available EPM technologies can lead to epiphanies about underlying business processes, keep in mind that the EPM technology is not a driverit is an enabler. An EPM tool exists to enable the business processes, not drive them.

This book discusses both the EPM technology and business processes. It is the considered, intelligent application of both EPM technologies and enterprise thinking that leads to success in managing projects. The business processes that relate to the features within the EPM toolset are defined in the following section.

Align with the Six Pillars of EPM

Your EPM planning activities require technical changes to your hardware and software in addition to nontechnical business process changes across your organization. This section provides an introduction on how to decompose the EPM implementation into manageable segments that Microsoft calls the six pillars of EPM.

Each of the six pillars of EPM is a convenient description that reminds you of how business processes relate directly to technology and operation of Project Server 2003. Affected technology includes Project Web Access (PWA), Microsoft Project Professional, Microsoft Outlook, and so on. Your EPM implementation should address each of the six pillars, briefly described in the following sections.

Pillar 1Project Management

Every EPM implementation includes the business processes and disciplines related to project management. Project Server 2003 technology stores project schedule data in a centralized SQL Server database so that these schedules can be viewed within the PWA Projects tab. The PWA Projects tab includes several functions directly related to business processes needed to define and manage individual project schedules within the context of program portfolios. Your project management business processes must address activities such as initiate, plan, execute, audit, and close projects. People throughout your organization can then effectively use PWA and Microsoft Project technology.

Pillar 2Resource Management

You need to decide whether the EPM implementation will include resource management business processes. Project Server 2003 enables all your resources to be stored within the Enterprise Global Resource Pool so that every project schedule can use those resources within task assignments. The PWA Resource tab allows resource managers and project managers to examine information about resources and work-loading assignments across all projects stored within the Project Server 2003 database. Your business practices are critical and have a direct relationship to the use of PWA and Project Professional.

Pillar 3Collaboration Management

Every organization uses communication strategies to share information, report status, coordinate project teams, and so on. Project Server 2003 includes several features to help project teams communicate important information among team members and throughout the organization. PWA and Microsoft Project include functions such as tasks, updates, status reports, and alerts to automatically send email and alert messages when certain events occur. Your business processes must also provide organizational guidance about the roles people have and how each person is responsible to use electronic collaboration technology.

Pillar 4Artifact Management

Every project produces a variety of important artifacts that are part of overall project deliverables. Project Server 2003 automatically creates document storage repositories as project managers use Microsoft Project to publish schedules to the database. PWA then provides a convenient set of functions such as documents, issues, and risks so that project teams can store and maintain artifacts associated with a project. Your business processes should provide guidance to people throughout the organization so that everyone knows how to find and manage project artifacts.

Pillar 5Organizational Readiness

Project Server 2003 includes a sophisticated mix of technology to manage projects, resources, collaboration, and artifacts. People in your organization need a variety of skills to effectively use this technology throughout the life cycle of each project. Implementing EPM also has a significant impact on business processes as you move from "old" methods to changed techniques to manage projects. You need to assess the needs for initial training and postimplementation support. Everyone across the organization will need follow-up support, sometimes called mentoring. If your organization cannot use the EPM technology and business processes, your risk of failure is high.

Pillar 6Operational Principles

The Project Server 2003 technology uses a complex mix of Microsoft technology that requires your operations support people to have special skills to install and maintain. Your PWA and Microsoft Project application administrators also play an important part in overall operations support as they set enterprise global codes and standards. You need to establish business requirements that create technology and applications management principles that address the business needs of the organization. These operational principles are then used to build technology and application training and procedures.

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    QuantumPM - Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Unleashed
    Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Unleashed
    ISBN: 0672327430
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 227
    Authors: QuantumPM LLC © 2008-2017.
    If you may any questions please contact us: