Implementing a PPM solution like Project Online has the potential of delivering significant benefit to your project teams, management and whole organisation. Increased efficiency, more timely and consistent information, improved resource utilisation, a more strategic project portfolio, and ultimately increased project success – a lot to aim for. Be aware though: The role of the Project Support Office (PSO or PMO) is crucial in turning this potential into reality.
Will the PSO please step up
Imagine the situation when the PPM tool has been deployed (configured and fine-tuned to your requirements), processes have been agreed and your team has been trained, project data has been migrated and you’re ready to go.
Now is the time that your internal Project Support Office really needs to step up, to drive success and make sure the tool is adopted successfully. The PSO now has a range of responsibilities:
- Ensure everyone conforms to the agreed process, including on-time submission of timesheets, tracking of project plans, reporting of progress
- Embed new reports and dashboards and help management to get the most from them by encouraging self service
- Coach project managers and assist with any issues or queries
- Perform solution admin tasks, like registering new users, maintaining the resource pool or checking in a project
- Deal with any requests for solution tweaks requested by users now that the tool is live
- Re-enforce why we are doing this and continue to encourage the team, overcome change resistance and drive process maturity.
For some customer PSOs this kind of work is second nature – they have been driving consistent process all along, and had just been struggling with the inefficiencies of disconnected tools prior to Project Online.
Every so often however we have customers whose PSO could really do with some help. It may just be down to workload (pretty much any organisation we work with these days is super-busy with ever growing project portfolios). It may be that key staff have left and their replacement not yet recruited. Or the PSO is still being established and not yet fully operational. Whatever the reason, Program Framework is able to help with our PSO Managed Service.
Design – Operation – Transition
The support service for you PSO will be tailored to your needs. A Design phase will help both parties understand what the service should deliver, considering factors such as the complexity and scale of your portfolio, reporting frequency, number of stakeholders, current process maturity and of course available budget.
Once we are up and running, our team will be augmenting yours to help with all of the chasing, reporting and supporting mentioned above. We will perform this remotely as well as onsite, to an agreed and documented set of processes. Our colleagues working with you will understand both the tool and the process and will be backed up by the Program Framework helpdesk. This is cost effective and provides great continuity.
If you wish to take this up on an interim basis, then we will assist with the transition back to your internal team when the time is right. We can even support the recruitment of the right staff to complete your own team. You then have the benefit of calling us back in if the same need arises again in the future – maybe even for short periods to back-fill staff on holiday or maternity/paternity leave.
Supporting People, Process & Technology
The PSO Managed Service can have other features built in, such as
- Ongoing coaching of team members (for example ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, Project Manager mentoring etc.)
- Support for minor enhancements to the solution or production of ad hoc reports
- Support for project meetings and stage gate reviews
- Assistance with project records management
So, if you have any concerns regarding your team’s capacity to drive the adoption of tool and process, then do talk to us. Having made the investment to deploy Project Online, the last thing you want to see is inconsistent uptake. Working together we can make sure that your objectives are met and you achieve the return on investment you were aiming for.