Global competition, changing market demands and technological advances are disrupting industries and encouraging organizational change to accelerate.
Now, more than ever, a digital PMO is needed to leverage technology in order to streamline project life-cycle management. The real-time coordination, collaboration, and sourcing of project data has become vital, providing the transparency, intelligence and decision-making capabilities to drive change and power transformation across the enterprise. Having the right technology solution in place will also facilitate the centralization of legacy systems, through the use of APIs and other integrations.
If you’re considering digitizing your PMO here are five key steps you should take in order to make your digital PMO a success.
5 Steps to Building an Effective Digital PMO
1. Be methodology agnostic
It’s important to have an open mind when it comes to methodologies – to be methodology agnostic or to devise a blended approach to methodologies. The mistake a lot of organizations make is they assume you can take an off-the-shelf methodology – whether it’s PMBOK, Prince2, Agile, Lean or Six Sigma – and they think they can just shoe-horn it into the organization’s way of doing business and managing project portfolios. They are all good project management practice methodologies but if you want to succeed you have to tailor each to the project environment within your specific organization.
Ideally you might want a hybrid – taking a standard good project management (PM) methodology and making it best practice by recognising there are elements of each one as well your internal procedures and internal organizational toolboxes that will best support your requirements. There is no magic wand for best practice PM. It takes a consistent effort. You can look at lessons learned from other peer organizations. You can take a steer from your vendor, drawing on their experience and know-how. You can look at international best practices but international best practices are only good practices when you adapt them to an organization’s structures and tailor them accordingly.
This Guide “How to Implement Best-practice Digital Transformation Programs” provides a detailed look at how you can get the right mix between people, processes and technology, identifying the five pillars of a successful digital transformation.
2. Communicate with your stakeholders
You need to communicate properly with your stakeholders. Sure projects will always be about being on time and on budget, but communicating with timely and informed project data is also a huge factor – in terms of progress, resource availability and planning. We all know that with projects, the plan never works out. It’s all about being adaptable. You can only react intelligently if you have good project information easily to hand. It’s about re-invention – where we are consistently planning and re-planning. A pliable solution like Cora PPM gives you that flexibility to react effectively to changing circumstances.
3. People, process and technology
The software solution has to work hand in hand with your people and your process. A solution like Cora PPM cannot function effectively without the right people, buy in from senior management – and in particular an influential project sponsor – and intelligent, flexible business processes.
Typically two out of three organizations that employ a PPM solution fail. It’s staggering. It’s invariably down to naivety. Your implementation has to be thought through, and critically you need a solution that is configurable to your business processes. This Guide “Implementing A PPM: Best Practices for Mitigating the Myriad Risks” will help overcome those issues.
With Cora PPM, for example, we have a proven track record of tailoring an off-the-shelf project management solution to the organization itself, typically customizing about 20-40% of the solution with its experienced analysts and implementation consultants.
4. Knowing which projects to select from your pipeline
To make a digital PMO work well, you need the right project data to make correct decisions on a project’s prospects of failure or success. You need a tight handle on deliverables and resources. You’re looking for that insight, that visibility across your project pipeline. You need a PPM solution that will enable you to make strategic decisions about which projects should be prioritized and which projects should fail early – the ones that are a waste of resources and effort. Organizations struggle typically with accepting that projects fail. Invariably, they’ll leave it to the very last minute – or often when a project is actually finished – in accepting a project has failed.
This Guide “Portfolio Planning Can Save Millions on Your Bottom Line” will help you understand the benefits of selecting the right projects and how to implement a Portfolio Planning process in their organisation.
A sign of PPM maturity in an organization is when they have enough visibility of their project pipeline that they can make strategic decisions and recognise that early failure can be a positive thing. They can’t make those decisions unless they have immediate insight into their project portfolios. When you have a proven solution like Cora PPM it gives you that visibility into your pipeline’s performance.
5. A Single version of the truth
What a solution like Cora PPM – which manages over €20 billion in projects daily on its platform across more than 50 countries around the globe – offers when it comes to gearing your digital PMO is it provides a helicopter view of your organization’s project data. It provides that critical “single version of the truth” – it enables your project managers to drill down on project information at a glance to gain visibility of your projects, your programs and more strategically at a portfolio level. They can pull together reports in seconds rather than days, allowing them to focus instead on value-added work and insight.