Project Management

assessing pmo

Breakfast & Learn: Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization

Breakfast & Learn: Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization 1650 928 StrategicFront

Last week StrategicFront partnered with Sciforma and delivered a presentation at the “Breakfast & Learn” event in Toronto. In this presentation SF team talked about a proven approach for assessing PMO Maturity in your organization.

Enjoy the highlights of the presentation, the slides and the full recording.

What is a PMO?

Project Management Office (PMO) is a group or department within a business, government agency, or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.

A PMO maintains an overview of projects, knows the company strategy, and ensures that both go hand in hand. However, the specific application areas of a PMO vary greatly from company to company.

A PMO is…

  • a centralized structure that eases and expedites the delivery of projects through good project management discipline and the application of appropriate governance
  • an entity that holds a holistic view of all projects and understands the business imperatives behind each initiative
  • an information channel to make key functional units, and all stakeholders aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • responsible for creating and communicating the overall project dashboard

A PMO is NOT…

  • intended to be an added level of unnecessary bureaucracy or overhead
  • doing the work but rather facilitating the execution in an integrated and consistent fashion
  • a roadblock to business growth
  • a manager of day-to-day business activities

A Viable PMO Should Provide Value

  • Contribute to business growth – inject project management discipline from strategy formulation through benefits realization
  • Reduce business risk – flexible, end-to-end project management process that balances rigor with overhead, with simple-to-use tools to plan, manage, track and report all project activities
  • Keep management informed – provide regular updates to the leadership / executive team and contribute to ongoing executive reporting as it pertains to the status of execution
  • Deliver successful projects – provide project management best practice discipline to guide and drive project delivery and realise desired benefits
  • Serve as PM expert – set the standard, provide the tools / templates, be the resident advocate and model for good Project Management practice while mentoring, guiding and training

5 Steps to Improve PMO Maturity

  1. Know the PMO functions/departments being assessed and plan the assessment project
  2. Get the people aligned and conduct a Kickoff to get everyone on the same page
  3. Conduct the assessment and know where your PMO Maturity Level is today
  4. Determine the desired level of PMO maturity based on organizational strategic goals
  5. Develop a Roadmap to achieve the desired PMO maturity level

To reach your desired level of PMO maturity that will provide the most value, given your operating environment and level of investment available, consider strong partnerships with external parties that are solely focused on your success.

Want to Learn More? Watch the Full Presentation

Are you looking for project management help? Let’s talk!

breakfast & learn

Breakfast & Learn for Project Management Leaders

Breakfast & Learn for Project Management Leaders 1650 1100 StrategicFront

In large 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. 

But a proactive approach is the best way to be prepared for growth and business changes. What is the best way to achieve acceleration and progress in your project management?

On June 25th, StrategicFront in partnership with Sciforma will host a networking Breakfast & Learn event, during which we will discuss the following topics:

  • A maturity model for assessing your PMO maturity, and how to ask the right questions to achieve the desired outcome
  • Looking at your “whole system” of a PMO organization and measure across multiple line-of-business PMOs and roll up to Enterprise PMO
  • Carving a pathway towards a continuous growth journey in PMO maturity
  • How technology plays a role as you mature your PMO

Join us June 25 for Breakfast & Learn presentations and networking event!

Date: Tuesday, June 25
Time: 8 AM to 11 AM
Location:
Downtown Toronto
WeWork Toronto
240 Richmond Street W
Toronto, ON M5V 2C5


Meet the Speakers

Farzad Khan, MBA, P.Eng., PMP
Management Consultant 
StrategicFront / Consulting

Rachel Atkins, PMP, BSc
Strategic Management Consultant 
StrategicFront / Consulting

Elise Mascret
Canada Sales Manager
Sciforma

StrategicFront & Sciforma will also present how a project and portfolio management tool can help you centralize your data and gain visibility needed to mature your PMO:

  • Manage a portfolio of projects and choose the “right” projects to launch, depending on your strategic issues, your risks, your cost constraints or deadlines.
  • Respect schedules in terms of deadlines or budgets, make specific commitments on projects, manage resources and optimize project plan.
  • Consolidate the workload of your resources and master the progress of your projects.
  • Monitor your projects and project data in real time.

Are you looking for project management help? Let’s talk!

Integrating Project, Process & Change Management to Maximize Business Value

Integrating Project, Process & Change Management to Maximize Business Value 2880 1622 StrategicFront

Last week StrategicFront’s Farzad Khan attended ProjectWorld*BusinessAnalystWorld Conference in Toronto to deliver a presentation on integrating Project, Process and Change Management to maximize business value. You can view the full presentation on our Youtube Channel or check out the highlights and the slides below!

Why Projects Fail

Statistics indicate organizations’ concern of project failure:

  • 97.5% of companies fail to complete all their projects successfully
  • 37% of the projects failed to achieve business objectives
  • 17% of IT projects go so badly, they threaten the existence of the company

Projects fail because organizations take a silo approach to three key interconnected ingredients that optimize business value: Project, Process & Change.

Common reasons for adopting an isolated approach:

  • Task Merging – considering process and change management as sub tasks of a project
  • Missing the Big Picture – failing to realize the importance of processes and the magnitude of its impact
  • Failure Within Success – too focused on project delivery, ignoring objectives of the organization
  • Ignoring Behavioural Aspects – failing to recognize the two different sides of a project: technical and human Side

Value of Project, Process & Change

Integrating project, process and change management results in success of your initiative. Successful project leaders follow an integrated approach for executing projects.

Maximizing business value through a strong integrated foundation of:

  • Project Management:
    • Maturity Assessment
    • Agile Project Management
    • Program & Project Delivery
  • Process Management:
    • Maturity Assessment
    • Business Process Design
    • Process Digitization & Automation
    • Robotic Process Automation
  • Change Management:
    • Change Assessment
    • Change Planning
    • Change Delivery

Results of an integrated project management approach:

  • Organization Objectives Met
  • Improved Human Experience
  • Project Execution Risk Minimized
  • Financial Targets Achieved
  • Delivery within assigned Timeline

Are you looking for project management help? Let’s talk!

pmo

Understanding PMO Maturity in Your Organization

Understanding PMO Maturity in Your Organization 1200 627 StrategicFront

Last week StrategicFront partnered with Sciforma to host a 1-hour webinar, in which we talked about a proven approach for assessing and maturing PMO in your organization.

Here are some highlights of the webinar, as well as the slides and the full recording.

What is a PMO?

A Project Management Office (PMO) is an essential component that enables the successful delivery of key initiatives for a department, unit or organization, and hence, enables its overall future success. An effective PMO should manage expectations, drive the right behaviours and, ensure the right level of communication and accountability.

A PMO is…

  • a centralized structure that eases and expedites the delivery of projects through good project management discipline and the application of appropriate governance
  • an entity that holds a holistic view of all projects and understands the business imperatives behind each initiative
  • an information channel to make key functional units, and all stakeholders aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • responsible for creating and communicating the overall project dashboard

A PMO is NOT…

  • intended to be an added level of unnecessary bureaucracy or overhead
  • doing the work but rather facilitating the execution in an integrated and consistent fashion
  • a roadblock to business growth
  • a manager of day-to-day business activities

A Viable PMO Should Provide Value

  • Contribute to business growth – inject project management discipline from strategy formulation through benefits realization
  • Reduce business risk – flexible, end-to-end project management process that balances rigor with overhead, with simple-to-use tools to plan, manage, track and report all project activities
  • Keep management informed – provide regular updates to the leadership / executive team and contribute to ongoing executive reporting as it pertains to the status of execution
  • Deliver successful projects – provide project management best practice discipline to guide and drive project delivery and realise desired benefits
  • Serve as PM expert – set the standard, provide the tools / templates, be the resident advocate and model for good Project Management practice while mentoring, guiding and training

5 Steps to Improve PMO Maturity

  1. Know the PMO functions/departments being assessed and plan the assessment project
  2. Get the people aligned and conduct a Kickoff to get everyone on the same page
  3. Conduct the assessment and know where your PMO Maturity Level is today
  4. Determine the desired level of PMO maturity based on organizational strategic goals
  5. Develop a Roadmap to achieve the desired PMO maturity level

Want to Learn More? Watch the Full Webinar


Are you looking for project management help? Let’s talk!

PMO maturity

Webinar: 5 Levels for Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization

Webinar: 5 Levels for Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization 2000 1466 StrategicFront

Assessing PMO Maturity in Your Organization

In large 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.

But a proactive approach is the best way to be prepared for growth and business changes. What is the best way to achieve acceleration and progress in your project management?

Date: Wednesday, May 8
Time: 10 AM – 11 AM Pacific
Duration: 1 Hour
Location: Online Webinar

In this 1-hour webinar, discover a proven approach for maturing your PMO in these areas:

  • A 5 level maturity model for assessing your PMO maturity, and how to ask the right questions to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Look at your “whole system” of a PMO organization and measure across multiple line-of-business PMOs and roll up to Enterprise PMO
  • Carving a pathway towards a continuous growth journey in PMO maturity
  • How technology plays a role as you mature your PMO

Join this webinar to discover more and ask your questions!


Meet the Speakers

Farzad Khan, MBA, P.Eng., PMP
Management Consultant
StrategicFront | Consulting

Farzad has more than 18 years of practice in management consulting and professional training.

Farzad develops and delivers training at leading academic institutions and works with top-tier consulting firms and corporate clients, primarily in banking, retail and professional services.


Rachel Atkins, PMP, BSc
Strategic Management Consultant
StrategicFront | Consulting

Rachel is a strategy and project consultant with over 20 years of experience in project and risk management. She has delivered pragmatic solutions to drive business transformations in top-tier consulting firms.

Rachel has been a key business influencer and trusted advisor to senior executives due to her seasoned business acumen and client commitment.

The 3 P’s to Project Delivery Success

The 3 P’s to Project Delivery Success 1000 667 StrategicFront

If a project delivery team had a magic recipe to ensure a successful project, what would the ingredients look like?

Based on almost a decade of project delivery experience at StrategicFront, we asked our Project Management Consultants this exact question. Here’s what we believe is needed to make a project delivery team successful.

People

There can be a number of stakeholders on any given project. However, the more the project delivery team and recipient business team of any project is aligned, the higher the chances of meeting project goals.

We believe that focusing on both the project delivery team and client business team is integral to overall project success. Engaging, organizing, and focusing on project delivery goals with these individuals will result in the desired project outcome.

Further, the cost of having the wrong people in a project is extremely high. We need to ensure that we have the right people, and that they are engaged the right way to meet the project outcome.

Planning

Every project has a goal. However, there can be a number of different ways to reach that goal. We believe that the best way is the most optimal, meaning the least expensive but most efficient.

Planning is all about understanding the business and delivery environment, but also creating the most optimal path to get to the desired goal.

Planning also includes organizing the people, as mentioned above as well as dependencies, so that everyone knows exactly who’s doing what, when.

Performance

Performance is all about the metrics. It’s important to know upfront what the performance goals of the business are, and what this project can possibly impact and achieve.

For example, say you’re working on a project around social media – knowing that your client’s follower count is integral to the business will impact how you approach this project. Will it meet the performance requirements, such as growing followers by 10%?

It’s important to consider the performance of the business, and to ensure each activity of the project is going to move the needle on an important performance goal.

Often project teams can be too focused on the project activities and details, and will lose sight on why they’re doing those activities. Consider the task of building a door-stop. If you focus too much on building the door-stop, it may become too small that it actually isn’t capable of doing its job of holding the door open. Focusing on the overall goal of the entire project will prevent this.

Are you struggling with managing your business projects? Let us know some of your goals for 2019 and we can discuss getting you there!

Niche Project Management Consulting Firm

Benefits of Working with a Niche Project Management Consulting Firm

Benefits of Working with a Niche Project Management Consulting Firm 1200 800 StrategicFront

Let’s face it – if you’re a mid sized organization and have strategic projects that you need to deliver, it’s integral to select the right project delivery partner for your business. While you have the deep knowledge of your company and your customers, going with the right project delivery partner can instantaneously add to your Project Management capability, and deliver your projects successfully. 

There are three potential options when selecting a project delivery partner. (1) Hire an individual project manager (contract or employee). (2) Hire a top-tier consulting firm. Or (3) hire a niche Project Management consulting firm.

Though all options have diverging benefits, here is an argument on why option #3 – hiring a niche Project Management consulting firm – can be of benefit to your organization and its bottom line.

read more
Pathway Through PMO Maturity

Pathway towards improving PMO Maturity

Pathway towards improving PMO Maturity 1050 700 StrategicFront

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

3 Key Factors to Project Success 1272 947 StrategicFront

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.