The Two-Tier PMO Model

Many organizations are looking at a PMO hierarchy–a single, central EPMO that aligns with the portfolio and defines corporate-wide strategy, paired with departmental-level PMOs that are modified versions of the distributed PMO model that organizations are more familiar with. In this article, we look at some of the considerations necessary to build an effective two-tier model.

Waterfall Versus Agile

When should you use waterfall and when should you use agile? The usual answer to this question is vague: Apply each approach according to circumstances. This article discusses the main positive and negative aspects of the waterfall and agile approaches, deconstructing some of the myths behind them and suggesting where one could be used over the other according to different factors.

Deadline: Yesterday?

When missed task deadlines start to become a problem, it’s often due to one or more of four reasons. Examining these key possibilities can help get to the root of the problem–and get the project team back on track toward on-time delivery of critical project tasks.

When Project Management Hits Home: Using PM Principles to Help Build Homes For the Visually Impaired

Engaging the right stakeholders at the right time during requirements gathering is the best way to ensure all perspectives are considered and the best solution is built. This article features a project professional discussing how project management principles were used to help build an apartment complex for the visually impaired. It details the full collaboration between the end users and other stakeholders. It then overviews how user needs were prioritized starting with addressing a basic set of requirements. The article also explores the challenges presented when the residents required the same features they were accustomed to and how these challenges were resolved.

Too Efficient to Thrive?

By focusing exclusively on efficiency, organizations have lost their ability to innovate, says business school dean, author and entrepreneur Jim Dewald. They need to invest in discovering opportunities, value transparency, and support managers who can balance the tension between individual initiative and structural controls.

Corporate Culture Wars

Corporate culture is the sum of values and behaviors that make up the character of an organization. It exists independent of your company’s vision and strategy as “the way we do things here.” How does this culture drive talent management in your organization, and what can you do about it?

Getting Engaged

Agile methods make the most of closer ties to the business and customer to get rapid feedback on functionality. This works great when customer engagement is high–but runs into problems when engagement is lacking. Learn about some warning signs and engagement models that can help.

On The Horizon: PPM Status Report

Firmly established as a distinct discipline that can deliver real value and benefits to companies, both in the short-term and for the long haul, project portfolio management enters 2009 with momentum. But many challenges and changes are on the horizon. Here, a leading PPM analyst shares his thoughts and predictions.

There is no IT Outsourcing without a Transition: An Introduction to ITO Transitions

An ITO transition is the complex first phase of the IT outsourcing contract that has strategic importance for the success of the contract. This paper provides an understanding of the transition phase along with the specific attributes that make an ITO transition different from many IT projects; and the key success factors to successfully achieving an ITO transition implementation.

Good Tool, Bad Fit

Adapting basic project management software for a professional services environment requires two significant additions: versatility to accommodate a host of new metrics, and unity to ensure those metrics are synchronized with the old, accessible to all, and transparent.

In The PPM Trenches

Mike Beard spends his days evaluating how companies’ methodology and processes function and recommending ways they can be improved, often with project portfolio management. But getting business owners and executives to carry out his recommendations is not always easy.

The Car Wash Lesson

Is it the project manager’s job to finish things on time and within budget, or is it his or her job to manage the things that impact the timeline and cost? It’s time to think outside the strict box that so many people use to judge project success. Need some convincing? Just get your car washed…

Delivering Difficult News

One day you may have to tell a colleague, a team member, perhaps even a friend that they are not the right person to lead a project or fill a key role that they might very much desire. Here are some leadership guidelines, based on recent personal experience, for handling such difficult resource changes the right way.

The PM Conundrum: Mastering Political Games

How to get to the top of the corporate ladder is not PM 101, it’s PM 500. It’s where big mistakes are made because PMs are not ready to cope with the hurdles. Success doesn’t come without work and angst, and the same goes with PMs. You have to know how to play the game. Let’s explore the game, players, tactics and more importantly, how to score those winning goals.

The Discipline of Facilitation

Part of a project manager’s job description is facilitation — drawing out the best in a team and paving the way for a project to succeed. But you aren’t born with these skills, nor can you earn them with a diploma. Facilitation requires ongoing attention to nine disciplines, including detachment, engagement and even a sense of wonder.

Local Goes Global

With IT shops in 73 countries doing good work but doing it their own way, employment services leader Manpower decided it was time to govern globally, execute locally. That meant leveraging common processes and tools without stamping out entrepreneurship and innovation. Here’s a conversation on how they’re doing it.

The Power Of Programs

Many large work initiatives run as projects would be more successful managed as programs. Such misdiagnosed projects include dimensions of size, complexity and duration that challenge the project perspective and lead to a higher likelihood of failure. A different methodology is called for, one that recognizes the difference between a program and a project and adopts the right set of skills to the task.

Meet the New COBIT

COBIT 5 is finally here and promises much. What makes it different from Version 4.1, and how is the new version being received? Find out why it’s a major step forward in providing companies with an organizational-wide approach to IT governance–and perhaps even organizational governance.

Make Your Metrics Known

Promoting project metrics can generate awareness about your project, support organizational change management, keep everyone informed and reduce the number of interruptions to the daily schedule. It doesn’t require a great deal of effort, but the payoff can be immense. Start by finding a visible wall.

How to Undertake a Project Quality Review

A project quality review helps to identify the root causes of problems on a flailing project and provides detailed guidance for how to get it back on track. It has a direct, positive impact on an organization’s bottom line. When undertaken at the end of a project, it provides valuable “lessons” for project teams working on future projects.

Is There Method Behind This Madness?

When people think of methodology, they usually imagine the theorists of IT pontificating on the virtues of an application development strategy. Methodology, in truth, is very important to the success of a data warehousing project. Without methodology, a team can walk blindly into a dark room and come out with the stab wounds of a failed effort.

Personal Process Management

Maximizing your own personal effectiveness doesn’t happen by accident. Regardless of the level of formality, detail and rigidity, every structured PM approach has some degree of process infrastructure to support it. But those approaches focus on the organizational perspective. Here, we build on that concept and look at things from the perspective of an individual project manager–personal processes and how you can use them to improve your performance.

Are You Data Driven?

Most of us know the resistance that can arise when presenting new ideas or creative thoughts to address age-old problems. Data can provide the mechanism for change, empowering you with the confidence to challenge the status quo. Research also suggests that a data-driven approach to decision making offers competitive advantages as well.