Project Management Office/Portfolio Manageme

Case Study:

Project Management Office/Portfolio Manageme

Project Mission and Background

A national leader in the Oil & Gas industry embarked on an ambitious strategy to develop a comprehensive portfolio management infrastructure to deliver a high integrity, integrated decision making process focused on maximizing net enterprise profitability.  Several significant realities faced the newly installed Project Management Office (PMO):

  • Establishment of PMO Organizational Identity
  • Consolidation of Integrated Financial and Schedule Data Warehouse
  • Delivery of Data-driven Portfolio Reporting
  • Integration into the Established Culture Across Geographically Separate Business Units
  • A Need for Flexibility in Deployment Strategy and Sequencing of Deliverables


Client near-term strategic business objectives drove the need for an accelerated deployment of a comprehensive Portfolio Management solution throughout geographically disparate operational locations.  With this being a first generation rollout of tools and processes, it was anticipated that the approach required in-depth staff expertise to identify and respond to changing requirements and flexibility to react to changing stakeholder reporting requirements.  Secondly, the ready availability of skilled resources steeped in portfolio management with the soft skills necessary to navigate deployment was critical to the success of this initiative.

Our Approach

With the decision to proceed with a notional Portfolio Management initiative established as a prerequisite, Lewis Fowler was engaged to contribute to the initial deployment strategy and incremental enhancements, and provide critical on-the-ground resources to bring this to reality. A number of factors required the placement or resources at both the corporate and regional locations.

  • Organizational Identity
    Leveraging on experiences across varied business verticals, Lewis Fowler successfully identified a Mission and Vision statement that aligned with the Corporate Objectives and resonated with senior stakeholders and leadership communities to capture organizational support and mindshare.
  • High Integrity Data Warehouse
    As may be typical of organizations engaged with early portfolio adoption, the financial and schedule performance can be found in disparate reporting systems.  The opportunities lay in consolidating the source system information content into a single data environment representative of the “truth”.
  • Data-driven Portfolio Reporting
    Essential to business decision making is the identification and deliver of meaningful views and reporting of project performance.  Lewis Fowler consultants provided that critical listening ear to identify reporting views familiar to leadership and developing them based on the data warehouse.
  • Geographically Separate Business Units
    Lewis Fowler identified, qualified, and deployed skilled consultant talent directly into the field offices responsibility for regional project performance.  This enabled a successful reinforcement of the broader PMO portfolio objectives while being directly responsive to the local needs and requirements.
  • Enable Integrated Program Management
    Through the delivery of meaningful project level performance measures, Lewis Fowler was able to propose horizontal linking of project performance in order to visualize program performance.  Doing so expanded the value of critical path scheduling and delivery risk management.

Direct Benefits

Based on the experienced project management professionals that were rapidly deployed across multiple regions, immediate client benefits were realized.

Being able to more effectively answer the question, “When will my project or program be completed and is it on budget?” provided confidence in assessing portfolio performance and asset delivery.  Knowing when provided important insight on availability of limited resources and assessment of time phasing of capital budget dollars.

With Lewis Fowler resources to carry the PMO message and value proposition, as well as to guide deployment and adoption, the client was well positioned to respond to the “voice of the customer” and tailor reporting products meaningful to their respective businesses.  This reporting conveyed transparency and credibility upon which regional leadership could best respond to changing priorities within their respective capital expenditure portfolio.

The value of being able to assess actual progress, both as cost and schedule, provides significant business leverage when determining portfolio performance.

This effort resulted in:

  • Improved strategic objective results
  • Cost savings through decreased capital outlay to cover over-estimated budget
  • Increased corporate reputation
  • Improved accuracy of time phased capital budget forecasts
  • Increased probability of project success
  • Growth in portfolio management acumen within a complex engineering driven organization
  • Improved data integrity and quality of performance reporting
  • Heightened focus on flexibility, responsiveness, and adaptability
  • Growth of people resources through training and mentoring
  • Attention to establishing an objective portfolio optimization process
  • Ability to respond to ad hoc reporting as enabled by the availability of unified project information
  • Improved Decision Making Capabilities
    • Facilitated cross function portfolio review and cadence to provide direct stakeholder engagement
    • Increased cost estimating accuracy through use of time phased cost element level spend forecasting
    • Established an enterprise wide common portfolio review process with cognizant stakeholder involvement
    • Developed shared business performance measures that align with corporate strategic business objectives
    • Reinforced continuous improvement through integrated process and tools governance process
  • Increased Visibility
    • Report on historical forecast accuracy to highlight stability of anticipated portfolio fiscal spend vs authorized budget
    • Lay foundation for development of credible project schedule milestone progress vs. baseline to objectively measure progress
    • Highlight Purchase Order Aging for integration into spend forecast and off-PO purchases to capture preferred pricing
    • Quantify extent of prior year portfolio carry-in and anticipated carry-forward into annual budgetary process


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