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Establishing a PMO

What the Client Achieved

A detailed understanding of the composition of the portfolio; they have a firm grasp of the entire portfolio and key milestones. Enhanced governance; they are able to ensure appropriate controls, consistency and coherence, whilst holding people to account for delivery, MI/BI analytics on portfolio performance; they understand where to direct senior management attention. Upskilling and P3M knowledge base; they introduced an enhanced level of professionalism to all aspects of P3M delivery.

i3Works’ role

i3Works teamed with 2 consortium partners and led the development of the bid to win the contract against an incumbent, recognised supplier. They achieved a high technical score whilst also delivering a cost reduction of ~30%.

i3Works also led the delivery of the PMO, managing a team of ~50 supplier and client personnel. Their aim was to transform the roll out of the PMO from a process heavy model that wasn’t gaining traction towards a lean implementation, delivered in capability increments through bi-weekly sprints. This enabled the PMO to gain momentum and demonstrate the value that the PMO could deliver.

i3Works was able to deliver results where others had failed by recognising that the success of the PMO would not be achieved by delivering artefacts and processes; it needed to be underpinned by a comprehensive programme of change, building hearts and minds. Any changes needed to be implemented with the client team, rather than to them; the i3Works consortium were integrated alongside the client team from day one.

Using Agile project management techniques i3Works led the delivery of a number of key strands, including:

  • Strategic analysis, strategic planning and development of a target operating model
  • Sourcing of corporate data, MI/BI, performance reporting and governance
  • Centre of excellence, including upskilling and the development of a Body of Knowledge.
  • Risk and issues management
  • Delivering a step change in planning and scheduling capability
  • Development of communities of practice and surgeries, underpinned by a comprehensive communications plan.

i3Works developed the dashboards, MI and BI to support decision making; sourcing corporate data, assessing its quality and completeness and integrating this within an automated set of dashboards and reporting tools.

i3Works also led the development of the P3M knowledge base, capturing good practice, tools and exemplars. Using its in depth expertise of Sharepoint, it was able to capture this knowledge within a consumable medium which was very well received across the organisation. This is being used as a platform for future development, including lessons learned, e-learning, good practice videos and tips/tricks.

It was also apparent that there was a significant disconnect between the organisation’s portfolio level aspirations and its ability to resource them. i3Works led the team to transform this through the systematic extraction of project level resource demands, integrating these into a comprehensive set of MI/BI and providing portfolio level analysis and insight. This was used by the senior management team to bring challenge and identify areas of shortfall, by resource type and grade. It also helped to inform ‘make or buy’ resourcing decisions, rebalancing the overall portfolio.

All of this was delivered using agile project management techniques, which enabled the client to deliver incremental improvement within the context of a high level set of PMO deliverables.

A focus on results

i3Works were able to exploit their broad knowledge of Portfolio, Programme and Project management to differentiate between process driven artefacts and deliverables that make a real difference to business performance. By delivering incremental improvement, the PMO was able to demonstrate the value that it could bring and use this as a foundation from which to develop momentum. i3Works were then able to communicate these benefits across the organisation through a co-ordinated series of campaigns. These were co-ordinated with corporate communications, the Chief Operating Officer and a wide range of parallel initiatives.

The overall outcome

The organisation had a 10 year history of rolling out a PMO, without achieving the critical mass to sustain it. The i3Works implementation has already delivered demonstrable and sustainable benefit, underpinned by a strategy and roadmap to deliver further incremental improvement. The PMO is enabling the organisation to make strategic decisions on portfolio prioritisation, rebalancing and overall portfolio performance which would otherwise be unavailable to it.

How i3Works can help your organisation

i3Works has a rich seam of P3M and business change expertise. We have delivered PMOs, led £billion mega projects and led programmes of up to 130 projects. We understand the need to ground P3M solutions in the practical reality of business; ensuring alignment with strategic intent whilst also championing a lean, pragmatic implementation of P3M methodologies. Our team are seasoned practitioners, including Registered Project Professionals, Chartered Engineers and underpinned by a wide range of P3M professional qualifications.

We have a passion for what we do and firmly believe in the value that a PMO can deliver. But we also appreciate that the industry is littered with process heavy, mechanistic PMO implementations that lose sight of their strategic purpose. By maintaining focus on the problems statements that the PMO is there to resolve, the PMO becomes an enabler for effective strategic and tactical decision making.

Contact us

For further information on how i3Works is able to support you in delivering business value, please contact us.