Our client is the world market leader in window coverings and manufacturer of architectural products, and we worked with one of their major companies in the U.S. Our client’s IT department has been in existence for over 30 years and had not established many formal information technology processes or policies. The department would be considered very immature by IT standards. Without formal processes in place, the organization was “working harder, not smarter.” Requirements were rarely documented and projects rarely formally managed. The IT team was reactionary as opposed to proactive and was deemed a “black hole” by the business, never seeming to deliver on what was envisioned as value-added projects.
Without having a portfolio defined (a consolidated list of prioritized projects) or understanding what was coming down the road for projects, the IT organization was unable to envision what was to be implemented when (often, there were multiple implementations scheduled for the same weekend maintenance was going to be performed on the systems) or where to focus their resources. Without project management processes and templates, projects were rarely formally or consistently managed. Without resource time tracking, no actual data existed to identify what people were really working on and to what extent.
Many of the IT resources had spent the majority of their career on the business side of the organization and transferred into IT. Consequently, they never had the opportunity to experience a mature IT organization or the power that can come from having a clear vision and understanding of their customers’ priorities.
Working with the new CIO, Lewis Fowler facilitated the creation of a Project Management Office (PMO) roadmap for the IT organization. The CIO agreed to take the first step which entailed identifying the project portfolio, developing project management processes and templates, assisting the organization in the identification and selection of a Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) system, and implementing resource time tracking.
Managing this effort as a project, including defined requirements and a project schedule, demonstrated to the organization what a well- planned effort looked like.
Using an experienced third party enabled the client to set a direction for their PMO (e.g., roadmap), develop project management processes and artifacts, select and implement a PPM tool, and implement resource time tracking to understand where time was being spent along with capacity. The client is now prepared to begin the journey to a higher level of project, portfolio and resource management maturity, thereby ensuring better results.
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