PMOtimizer – Implementing Effective Project Management Organizations


The following outlines the development and implementation of a practical, customized project management solution designed to meet your unique business needs. Our consultants have been implementing customized project management solutions for over 18 years. Over time and with a vast array of project management engagements, we have been applying and cultivating the most current project management concepts, training techniques and state of the art technology. This has led to a very efficient and mature methodology for implementing project management that we refer to as PMOptimizerTM. We will provide you the most cost-effective way to get your organization up and running with project management. Our proven record of accomplishment with implementing successful project management solutions speaks for itself. You can be assured that we will deliver results with the greatest return on your investment.


Step 1 – Project Management Gap Analysis & Assessment
Working closely with key stakeholders we will facilitate an in-depth project management gap analysis and assessment. We will examine the current state of your project management process and related systems while determining your future needs and key issues/challenges facing your organization. This will provide a foundation to introduce new information and design/redesign PM processes & tools to achieve your objectives. The starting point for this effort will be to analyze your current As Is situation and identify process & system disconnects problem areas and current cycle times. While doing so, we will also identify the Should Be or desired state for effective project management that will lead to your optimal customized project management solution.

Initially, we will help to identify key stakeholders including the project management process owner, leader and participants. Subsequently, a Senior Level Facilitator will conduct confidential interviews and workshops and collect information related to project management. The questions will deal with the type and quality of the inputs that the participants receive before they engage in performing their part of the process as well as the type and quality of the outputs they produce. Other questions will help identify perceived problems with their portion of the process and with any other parts of the process that they are familiar with.

Also, we will elicit ideas for improving the process in order to help us reach our desired solution. In conjunction with this approach, we will collect and analyze any related information/documents pertaining to project management efforts and previous work completed to date. It is important that we understand all relevant work and systems you have undertaken with regard to implementing project management. This will provide us with the most appropriate direction for decision-making. Once the entire information gathering process is completed, we will synthesize the data collected and prepare it for documenting the new process and use it as a foundation to implement an effective project management system. Please note that this is not an improvement effort to revise, modify or change your work methods (or project life cycles) but rather a project management process improvement effort to provide a framework in which you can conduct your work more effectively.

Step 2 – Design & Document Customized Project Management Solution
Once the analysis is complete, we will be in a position to create a customized project management solution (process & system), which will then be documented in a project management process handbook. We will work to produce a well-documented framework that incorporates our findings with current and best project management practices. Focusing on each step, we will map out the inputs required for each activity, and the outputs. We will also map these steps to the responsible resource and approximate cycle time, if applicable. Once this is done, we will identify possible metrics that you may choose to apply, such as reducing budget overruns or decreasing cycle times. The output of this effort will be a well-documented handbook from which all project stakeholders can operate. This will also provide the foundation for customizing the project management training and coaching as well as to provide the direction for setting up and using project management technology and related tools. 

System (Technology & Tools to Support Process)
The system must support the revised process. Once we agree on the process, our team will set up customized project management system using project management software most suitable for your process and environment. Ideally, we will utilize existing software your organization has already acquired. However, if requested, we will also be able to recommend the use of additional tools such as Forms & Document Management, Time/Resource Tracking Tools, Database Integration or Cost/Finance System Integration. This will depend on the outcome of our analysis and your newly designed process. The system will be designed to support each part of the project management process (initiating, planning, controlling, executing and closing). If applicable, we can create customized project templates to use in the initiating and planning stages of the project management process. This will involve setting up your primary scheduling tool to include the use of a template system on your network and/or intranet. This may also include defining custom reports using various views, layouts, filters, and/or tables. If appropriate, we will help in setting up an organization standard resource template from which project planners can access resources to make assignments to their respective projects. This will allow you to manage resources more effectively across multiple projects. In conjunction with setting up the templates and custom views/reports, we will set up a consolidation process so you can create master project files allowing various stakeholders to view all projects across the organization. Depending on your communication needs, we can also set up groups of projects for viewing. Effective master schedule development allows individual project managers/planners and other stakeholders to roll up their projects and view global effects on the organization. Meaningful consolidated master schedules also assist in prioritizing projects, tracking key issues, targets, and resource assignments and help control risks and costs. This system will be documented as part of the process handbook described above. 

Step 3 – Deliver PM Solution (Implement, Test, Optimize)
Once the solution is ready for implementation, we will deliver the documented process and customized system files to your organization. We will install on site, test and optimize the system and process (as required) to ensure that it will work effectively when users become active. This will be done in advance of the training ensuring participants will be able to access the system and go live with project information immediately following their training session. In most cases, since our customization usually involves off-the-shelf products, setting up the customized system requires relatively small effort and usually can be accomplished during the same on site visit or just prior to the scheduled training.

Step 4 – Training & Knowledge Transfer
Our proven effective training programs will be designed to meet the needs of your organization based on your customized project management solution. Our standard training programs are 2-day sessions targeted for the various stakeholders of the project management system. This is a hands-on class and usually requires all participants have a terminal with the customized system loaded and operational. Our training exercises will incorporate the needs of the targeted group members in attendance and apply the relevant templates/reports that your organization will use. We will work with you to determine the appropriate class size and curriculum for each of the stakeholders involved in the solution, including Executives/Management, Project Managers/Planners, Team Members, Subcontractors and/or other external stakeholders. Depending on your unique needs, we can combine stakeholders or hold separate programs. For example, our executive overview programs are typically high level half-day sessions while project managers and team members receive in-depth, two-day sessions.

In conjunction with the training, we will work closely with one or two key resources from your organization to transfer knowledge on how to use and maintain the process and system that will be implemented. Our knowledge transfer approach will be continuous throughout our service and the life of this project and begin once Step 1 is initiated. This may serve as the foundation for a Project Management Office (PMO), what we refer to as reaching Project Management Optimization. Ideally, once the training is completed, these selected internal resources will act as internal champions or knowledge-workers for project management. Our goal is to make your organization self-reliant with project management and future project management improvement efforts in an expedient and timely manner.

Step 5 – Coaching & Support
Once the system is active and the training is complete, we will be available to support your organization in its effort to implement the solution to its fullest potential. This may involve on-site, telephone, email, Internet and/or fax support. In conjunction to the support, our follow-up coaching program provides participants the opportunity to work directly with a Senior Level Coach to work on their projects during one-on-one or small team sessions. Working with our Coaching Staff, we will help participants to successfully turn theory into practice.

Our coaching process is flexible. We can provide assistance at any point in your projects life cycle helping to ensure that projects are supported by your organizations newly delivered customized solution. We can assess the project work that has been completed by reviewing relevant documents and then work toward moving the project through the next step in your customized process.