Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 Project Management Institute's Thought Leadership - Benefits Realization Management

Thank you to all veterans and active duty personnel for their service. Each of you has played a large part to the safety of our country!

The Project Management Institute (PMI) recently published the new leadership series. One of the reports is Connecting business strategy and project management - Benefits realization management (BRM). While reading the report, I was reminded of taking baby steps. The report confirmed how important benefits realizatin management is to implementing strategy.

The report outlined three factors that contribute to the success of BRM.These are "managing the portfolio of projects, creating dedicated space for dialogue, and establishing the right conditions for success". Each requires a culture shift to effectively manage the organization's strategy.

Managing the portfolio of projects' objectives is to manage projects to the strategy. The project success is good but it must provide value to the portfolio which in turn should drive toward the strategy.

Creating dedicated space for dialogue is fancy speak for the C-suite needs to be engaged. Without support and sponsorship from the C-suite the portfolio will lose traction. The C-suite needs to communicate with the business owners working as sponsors. The sponsors help to translate the strategic objectives into projects.

Finally, establishing the right conditions for success is about changing the culture. Active sponsorship, project managers with the correct skills, and most importantly encouraging actively delivering bad news. All these conditions drive the re-mapping of projects to drive the value of the portfolio.

While I agree with all these premises, the report does not address programs. This is a major oversight as programs are integral to a portfolio. The program helps to drive a strategy or part of a strategy more efficiently than driving each project separately.

By not addressing programs, PMI appears to have forgotten the value of programs. This is worrisome as it delivers the wrong message.

Stay tuned for a synopsis and opinion of the other reports within the Thought Leadership Series.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2016 PMO Symposium

Today, I find myself in San Diego. I am here for an extended period of time as my granddaughter was born. So, yes I am a very happy grandma. But I diverge.

The Project Management Institute's (PMI) PMO Symposium is happening in San Diego. Actually, it is on Coronado Island. I attended the previous two Symposia but elected not to attend this year. The last two I attended did not provide the topics I would have expected.

Let me elaborate. The PMO Symposium is not really sure what it is. As the title suggests, it was started to showcase PMOs. However, as time has progressed, the acronym PMO does not have a clear definition. PMO may stand for Project Management Organization, Project Management Office, Program Management Ofice, Progam Management Organization, Program Management Office, Portfolio Management Office, Portfolio Management Organization, But the confusion goes even farther. PMOs can be at the enterprise, organization, program, project, or somewhere in between.

Where PMI misses with the PMO Symposium is that it no longer focused. PMI is trying to make the PMO Symposium cater to Portfolios and PMOs. By doing this PMI has watered down the Symposium. A better solution, continue the PMO Symposium with a clear charter and leave portfolio out of the mix as all it does is muddy the waters.

But, I also need to point to the positives of the PMO Symposium. Each year, PMI creates a series called the Pulse of the Profession which is introduced at the Symposium. These are wonderful series that I look forward to every year.

Also, the Symposium offers a wide variety of workshops, vendors, presentations and network opportunities.

My next blog will evaluate this year's Pulse of the Profession!