Development of a Project Management Office (PMO)

A PMO is part of a dynamic organizational structure and serves value return to a much wider audience than those who are implementing the work. Strategic values range from higher margins, lower attrition and rework as well as elevated client satisfaction.

Project Description:

This project was chartered to accommodate the organizations need to meet intensive regulatory scrutiny across the enterprise portfolio of Government projects. The deliverable of a functional PMO would provide standardized practices which could be measured and applied to meet all compliance standards while at the same time increasing the organizations effectiveness and thus profit margins.

Client:

The client is the leading provider of computing systems and algorithmic software for data-intensive military navigation applications.

Challenge:

The company required assistance in implementing a Project Management Office and governance practices for a portfolio of varying projects, some of which were chronically challenged and a few where key customers were concerned about key product deliveries.

Solution:

After developing a clear scope of work with senior stakeholders, AMS conducted onsite interviews and reviews of the organization’s engineering and project management processes and practices. Functional mapping of roles and responsibilities was undertaken to ensure project team composition-competency was consistent with project demands. A detailed gap analysis with detailed recommendations was delivered to a senior steering committee, they were in agreement with our assessment(s) and recommendations. A key recommendation was that rather than AMS “taking over” the implementation project, it would be more beneficial for designated client resources to be the lead in the implementation project. Consistent with our recommendations we developed an execution plan where client resources would be coached and mentored to achieve specific practices and deliverables for the PMO development, Project Management rigor and implementing a practical system for practical and Integrated Project Control across the multiple functional contributors. The organization’s development life cycle was also “fitted” with a structure of scalable stage gates and application criteria.

Benefits:

As a result of the overall assessment, the organization’s best practices that were functional -working well, were validated. Scalable front-end planning practices were adopted to ensure the projects objectives were decomposed properly into an accurate technical design basis and requisite project management execution practices were aligned and applied. The PMO was developed and chartered as a service-based organization first and a governance mechanism second. This approach helped shift cultural inertia and early apprehensions about the PMO assuming a “heavy handed” governance role.
The client’s project portfolio stabilized and key clients that were hesitating awarding them mission critical projects, were impressed enough with the organization’s transformation to award the projects as a sole-source procurement. Each of these projects were extremely successful with one being awarded a project of distinction award from the federal agency client.