Project Management

Pathway Through PMO Maturity

Pathway towards improving PMO Maturity

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In our recent post we discussed the 5 levels of assessing PMO maturity in your organization including: awareness, repeatable, defined, managed, optimized.

The maturity level is just a yardstick of where a PMO stands today – what you do with that information defines the continuous growth journey of a PMO.

The success of a PMO involves gaining a strong insight on the key capabilities and practices that contribute to the maturity level. Each of the key capabilities and practices, when applied at its best, helps run the overall PMO in a consistent, measured and optimized way. It helps the PMO ‘run like a business’, understand its clients and their goals/needs, and meet those needs. The capabilities and practices lays down a foundation to support a PMO towards improving the PMO maturity level.

So, what are those key capabilities and practices that a PMO must focus on?

Key capabilities and practices of a PMO to ensure optimal business performance:

  • Organizational Governance: assess how well the organization controls the initiation and alignment of its investments with the corporate strategy.
  • Management Control: assess how well the organization maintains control of the initiatives currently “in flight”.
  • Benefits Management: assess how well the organization defines, tracks and ensures achievement of performance improvement from the investment.
  • Risk Management: assess how well the organization focuses on and mitigates the impact of threats and the leveraging of opportunities.
  • Stakeholder Management: assess how well the organization controls the initiation and alignment of its investments with the corporate strategy.
  • Finance Management: assess how well the organization controls the initiation and alignment of its investments with the corporate strategy.
  • Resource Management: assess how well the organization controls the initiation and alignment of its investments with the corporate strategy.

StrategicFront follows a standard approach to ensure proper planning and execution of the PMO Maturity Assessment initiatives:

  • Scoping & Planning including PMO stakeholder identification and detailed planning of the Maturity Assessment initiative.
  • Kick-Off including preparation and conducting kick-off with all identified stakeholders.
  • Self-Assessment & Interviews including detailed self-assessment and interviews.
  • Reporting including producing a PMO Maturity Level reports, with insights on each of the capabilities and practices.
  • Goal Setting and Roadmap for Improvement including identifying future maturity goals and developing a roadmap towards the improvement journey.

How can we help?

StrategicFront offers a unique approach by integrating Project, Process, and Change Management to deliver on client’s business goals. Our team of highly skilled and experienced practitioners have led successful projects across all areas including: banking, technology, retail, and professional services.

Need help to evaluate your organizations PM maturity needs – we’d be happy to speak with you. Email us at info@strategicfront.com or call 416-915-4141. We look forward to hearing from you.

Assessing PMO Maturity

5 Levels for Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization

5 Levels for Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization 1056 694 StrategicFront

Typically, in larger organizations the evolution of project management lags behind development of other capabilities such as finance, operations, HR, etc. Only when the need for project management becomes critical do companies pay attention to improving their project management capabilities.

This lack of foresight frequently creates an environment where PM capabilities are not in place to support the need of the project management community and other business stakeholders.

Eventually, we need to take a proactive look at the infrastructure necessary to progress in project management capability. Often, this happens when executive management takes proactive action to make change, but the question is “what sort of action and what’s the desired outcome”?

The “PM Maturity and PMO Methodology”

StrategicFront follows a proven approach towards PMO Maturity Assessment and considers critical success factors such as:

  • Looks at the “whole system” of a PMO organization and provides a yardstick to measure across multiple LOB PMOs and role up to Enterprise PMO.
  • Designed to be independent. Agnostic to any particular body of knowledge or project delivery approach.
  • Provides a roadmap to improve PMO maturity based on organizational strategies and goals, and works with you to make the improvements.

The PMO Maturity Assessment

Our PMO Maturity Assessment follows a 5-level maturity model for assessment of PMO Maturity.

LEVEL 1 – Awareness/Ad hoc: Does the organization recognize programs and projects, and run an informal list of investments in programs and projects? (There may be no formal tracking and documenting process).

LEVEL 2 – Repeatable: Does the organization ensure that each program and /or project in its various portfolios is run with it s own processes and procedures to a minimum specified standard? (There may be limited consistency or coordination between portfolios).

LEVEL 3 – Defined: Does the organization have its own centrally controlled portfolio processes and can individual initiatives flex within these?

LEVEL 4 – Managed: Does the organization obtain and retain specific management metrics on its whole portfolio of programs and projects as a means of predicting future performance. Does the organization asses its capacity to manage programs and projects, and prioritize them accordingly?

LEVEL 5 – Optimized: Does the organization run continual process improvement with proactive problem and technology management for portfolio in order to improve its ability to predict performance over time and optimize processes?

Ask yourself the above questions as you’re conducting a maturity assessment for your organization to ensure you have the desired outcome. The overall PMO Maturity is broken down into Perspectives based on organizational practices that are more meaningful to a PMO.

How can we help?

StrategicFront offers a unique approach by integrating Project, Process, and Change Management to deliver on client’s business goals. Our team of highly skilled and experienced practitioners have led successful projects across all areas including: banking, technology, retail, and professional services.

Need help to evaluate your organizations PM maturity needs – we’d be happy to speak with you. Email us at info@strategicfront.com or call 416-915-4141. We look forward to hearing from you.

3 Key Factors to Project Success

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According to a 2018 PMI Pulse of the Profession project management survey, which involved nearly 4500 project management practitioners, 446 senior executives and 800 project management office (PMO) directors from across the globe, there are three key factors that any organization should take into account to ensure project success.

1. Executive Sponsor Involvement

Actively engaged executive sponsors help organisations to bridge the communications gap between influencers and implementers. This results in a significant increase in collaboration and support, boosting project success rates and reducing risk.

To improve executive stakeholder involvement:

  • Create a culture that supports the relationship between project managers and executive sponsors;
  • Develop a roadmap, which includes skills and actions, for the executive sponsor; and
  • Provide training to prepare executive sponsors for various steps during project

2. Scope control

Scope creep (the uncontrolled expansion of product or project scope without adjustments to time, cost and resources) not only results in wasted money, but also decreases satisfaction and delays project benefits.

Among the factors leading to scope creep are a lack of clarity; changes to the organization’s priorities and project objectives, and flawed requirement gathering along with project complexity.

Risk of project creep can be reduced by:

  • Creating awareness of the business benefits;
  • Establishing a credible feedback loop with the customer; and
  • Taking iterative approaches that allow for shifts in delivery midstream.

3. Clear Communications

Projects often ‘fail’ because we simply fail to clearly articulate the vision and the project’s success criteria. This vision must be successfully communicated to each stakeholder and team member. The whole team should be able to visualise the end result, in order to work towards a common goal.

Regular reporting of the project’s progress and status is crucial to the success of the project. Communicating this to all stakeholders in a clear and precise manner is paramount, so that all understand the key messages. Diagrams, charts, graphs and tables should be maximized here. The well known saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is no less true than when communicating project progress or status.

Effective and efficient project management communication is delivered by first considering the needs of the audience you are intending to communicate with, put yourself in their shoes and anticipate what they need to understand, and then provide that understanding only. Strong presentation skills are essential for communicating project progress and status. The audience needs to be engaged during these presentations to check that the key messages have been received and understood.

To improve communication on projects:

  • Be fully engaged, listen and understand concerns of all stakeholders throughout the project.
  • Regular, ongoing and transparent communication is key to ensure everyone agrees and works towards project goals.
  • Using the appropriate communication channels and tools to deliver messages will ensure audience receives and retains the information.