Introducing the Progamme Management Office (PMO)
- The IS Services PMO
- What's a PMO anyway?
- What does the PMO do?
- Who's who?
- The Project Management Framework
- Value add
After reading the information below you may wish to follow the links on the left for information regarding the project proposal process, the project management process and a list of current projects and recently completed projects.
In early 2009, IS Services created a Programme Management Office (PMO) in order to optimise IS Services project management, governance and quality assurance. A project management framework was designed and a PMO was put in place. IS Services Project Managers have been reporting on all project work to the PMO on a fortnightly basis since March 2009. A full-time PMO Programme Manager was appointed in July 2010.
A Programme Management Office (PMO) is a central support structure designed to provide assistance to change and delivery initiatives within an organisation. A PMO can support a single Programme or Project or it can have a wider remit to programmes and projects across the whole organisation, especially where there is a lot of ongoing project activity. Without such a structure, organisations are forced to duplicate support arrangements over and over again as programmes and projects come and go. Some of the compelling reasons for establishment of a PMO include:
- better continuity and maintenance of standards
- increased skills development and knowledge transfer and
- collection and handover of vital lessons learned from one project to the next.
Corporate PMOs may eventually take on a portfolio management role, helping to manage across all programme, project and other related activity being engaged in. This enables organisation-wide standards and processes and provides senior managers with information on progress, costs and resources which helps with key decisions.
The PMO provides and facilitates a range of functions within IS Services and for IS Services clients across College:
- Assists in the alignment of proposed projects with College strategy
- Promotes and enforces the use of standardised project management processes
- Assists all project managers in project management practices using templates, forms and other information and provides advisory services to clients across College functional areas
- Assists with the governance and quality assurance of projects
- Monitors and reports status of all projects for management information
- Develops and conducts one-to-one and group training in project management
- Provides programme and project management services
The PMO, managed by the PMO Programme Manager, oversees all significant development projects for IS Services. The PMO operates on a series of cycles. Each fortnight, all project managers provide a written report on their project covering the project status, lifecycle phase and next planned steps. The Programme Manager provides a summary of all project progress with a dashboard displaying status, phase, project categories with statistics and trends on all areas of activity.
Our processes follow the standard project management lifecycle of proposal evaluation, initiation, design, implementation and closing. In addition to the standard project management tools of planning, estimation, reporting, the PMO has as a main toolset the EPM system, which combines a central repository for all IS Services project plans and staff resources as well as a set of SharePoint sites holding documentation for each of our projects to assist with project communications. We use MS Project 2010 as our standard project management software and Microsoft’s PWA (Project Web App) as the holding area for project information, status reporting and dashboard. This system is currently undergoing an upgrade as part of the Enterprise Sharepoint 2010 project.
The PMO has two sub-groups. The first of these is a representative group of all sections within the Department whose function is to assess the implications of new project proposals, in particular their resource implications so that we can plan our resource management. The second group has the function of carrying out a peer review of projects at Design stage to ensure that all proposed technical solutions meet the overall enterprise architecture for College.
Jim Cumiskey is the PMO Programme Manager. Jim is an experienced programme and project manager having worked with over 150 organisations over thirty years. He is a certified PMP (Project Management Institute).
Laura Conway is responsible for all project quality assurance (QA) functions. QA provides an independent quality assurance service for projects run under the PMO, and operates independently of projects themselves.
Nicola Boutall has recently joined the PMO as Administrator and shares her work with administration of HPC. Nicola’s principal role is in resource management, identifying and tracking resource plans and staff availability for upcoming projects.
All development projects and their resources are managed and coordinated using PMO processes and systems with an overall project management framework defined and implemented within IS Services using best project management practice. All operational plans for scheduled maintenance, annual activities and support are now in the process of being added to EPM to improve visibility of plans and to enable forward planning and effective resource management. The set of standard procedures which has been in place since the PMO was founded, enables IS Services to manage a significant portfolio of current and pipeline projects and project requests effectively. The PMO assists clients with the development of their project proposals to ensure alignment with College strategy and identification of costs and benefits.
Last year saw the development of a standard set of dashboard reports aligned with biweekly project updates. With the upgrade to Sharepoint 2010, the PMO will further develop new and enhanced reports and dashboards. In addition to improvements in our existing RAG Status and Phase reports, more detailed reporting for the pipeline, milestones, deliverables and business area will be completed this year.
An initial approach was made to portfolio management during the last year and this will be further enhanced in the coming year with a focus on management of resources across priority projects, and scoring of project proposals. This will increasingly focus on project benefits and alignment with College Strategic Themes. The selection and prioritisation of projects and the identification of required resources for current and pipeline projects will greatly assist reporting to the Project Management Group and Executive Officers.
The PMO provides value to our College clients in the areas of project management, project portfolio management, process improvement, IT development life-cycle, and quality assurance. The in-house developed Project Management Framework established over the past two years is the platform for all projects initiated and managed by IS Services.