5 Benefits of PPM tools and PMO process automation

Though there are several advantages to using appropriate project/portfolio management tools and integrating them along with your organization’s business/other systems, here are a few highlighted which will add significant value to your PMO/PPM processes:

1) Elevated Accuracy and Outcome Predictability

A PMO can help increase the accuracy and visibility of initiatives when it involves budgets, schedules, and resource utilization by using standard industry tools. PPM software can collect, maintain, and configure related data to accurately predict if your initiatives are susceptible to success/failure and provide metrics for outcome prediction.

Often the project managers know the inner mechanisms of projects and where the bottlenecks are, but they are either not able to articulate this information or convince executives what the issues and risks are.

Having visibility into the project portfolio reports can enable all stakeholders and project teams to assimilate on common grounds and make decisions supported by factual data rather than gut feels.

2) Time Value / Cost Savings

Process automation is intrinsically translated to time/cost savings especially when data accuracy comes into the equation. You will be able to reduce the possibilities of required adjustments by using appropriate PPM tools and configuring workflows for manual tasks.

Manual tracking of projects, managing change requests, and adjustments to initiatives will incline you to spend time/cash that has not been budgeted for, end in data discrepancies, and increase administrative overheads.

3) Document Standardization (developing requirements, solution & support documentation)

A PMO can ensure that organizations develop and standardize PPM documentation (requirements -> solution -> delivery) which results in enhanced Project/Program experiences and uniformity across the board. These artifacts are managed by way of information assortment, requirements gathering, business analysis, evaluating technical solutions, status reports, templates, stakeholders’ communication, and tracking issues/changes.

PMO can deploy document storage solutions and automate approvals for project artifacts to boost collaboration and easy retrieval.

4) Quality Centric

Quality checks are a vital part of the PPM delivery models. However, this may be often overlooked or completely ignored by many organizations. The standard justifications are that the teams are too busy delivering or getting caught in organizational bottlenecks.

The issue with this thought process is that if project teams are only delivering then how are critical milestones being checked for accuracy and whether these were delivered as fit for the suitable purpose.

The PMO can help alleviate these issues by a higher quality excellence framework. It can provision dynamic scorecards and dashboards with relevant project quality metrics for executive management to support their higher cognitive process and to facilitate the alignment of their strategic targets with company results.

5) Resource Management

Many organizations struggle to grasp how their resources are allocated across various projects, what their current resource pool bandwidth is, and if there is sufficient capacity to deliver new projects over time.

A PMO can select, deploy, and maintain a suitable resource/skills management solution to support capacity management activities. By evaluating the desired skillsets of obtainable project teams, the PMO can allocate or augment resource pools accordingly for essential project work scheduling.

While selecting an appropriate PPM tool, the PMO should not only evaluate the standard industry tools but also analyze which tool will best fit the organization’s strategy, budget, and culture in the long run. This involves an analysis of the existing PMO model/maturity, technical integration, maintainability, usage, reporting requirements, administration, and operational support.

Importance of PMO

A Project Management Office (PMO) is established in an organization to boost strategic value and effectively monitor key initiatives and operations. On an enterprise level, a PMO provides an organization a specified oversight to help ensure that Projects, Programs, and Portfolios are delivered on schedule, on budget with the desired return to investment, and are in alignment with corporate strategy/objectives.

1) PMO is accountable for developing and adopting the standard PPM (Project and Program/Portfolio Management) administration, methodologies, processes, procedures, governance frameworks, key indicators, metrics, and various templates to be utilized by the project teams, stakeholders, and resource groups. PMO selects the relevant practices that are prevalent and used throughout the industry. PMO plays a key facilitating role in an organization’s success, enabling long-run tangible benefits as well as evolves/adapts to strategical and cultural changes.

2 ) PMO selects the relevant practices that are prevalent and used throughout the industry.

3 ) PMO plays a key facilitating role in an organization’s success, enabling long-run tangible benefits as well as evolves/adapts to strategical and cultural changes.

Additionally, PMO maintains the central repository of project data, reporting, processes, artifacts, and relevant historical information. This also includes maintenance of the Risk/Issue logs, mitigation steps, and lessons learned database. PMO also ensures that appropriate tools are deployed to share the PPM data across stakeholder groups, executive management, and project teams.

Typical life-cycle process for Projects and Programs

Though in theoretical terms, a typical waterfall project implementation is a 5 phased (Initiation to Closure) approach, it can further be sub-categorized as follows:

1) Initiation:

– an idea/request/objective/strategy translates into a project intake request

2) Analysis:

– conduct feasibility study, business case, Charter, and document business requirements

3) Approval:

– executive sponsorship and cost/schedule/resource approvals

4) Prioritization:

– how the project measures with strategic alignment, other projects, and available budget/resources/timelines

5) Assign:

– Work allocated to teams responsible for delivery

6) Deploy/monitor:

– project delivery, cadence, scorecards, manage risks, issues, and changes

7) Operational handoff:

– for ongoing support and maintenance

8) Close off:

– documentation, lessons learned, and data archival

 A PMO with standard methodologies, governance, tools, and templates, if executed appropriately, can surely enhance PPM delivery success for strategic objectives and targets.