Case Analysis The AtekPC Project Management Office Case Overview AtekPC is a mid-sized U. S PC maker with sales of $ 1. 9 billion and employed 2100 full time employees and additional 200 part time workers. This case discusses most of the obstacles to establishing a PMO (Project management Office) are beyond the CIO and PMO Manager’s control. We see a lot of problems faced by the CIO in implementing a PMO in the enterprise. Regardless of the technical challenges during the implementation, the core of the problems seems to be that the PMO is lacking organization support, from the top to the bottom.
There is not enough executive stakeholder support, there is no visibility of the program, there is a conflict of interests within departments and employees are reluctant to change the ways they have been doing things. Issues brought out in the case include defining the PMO’s purpose and mission, the structure and governance of the PMO, and how to successfully implement it in what appears to be a resistant culture. Objective of PMO PMO’s objective is to provide more consistent and better practices for both business and IT projects. Realize benefits derived from consistent project practices.
Challenges faced by AtekPC and PC industry and Need Analysis for PMO • Reduction in time and cost and increase profitability:- PC industry was going under major cost cut PMO can help in achieving it by reducing time in implementing projects and there by reducing cost by saving resources. • Slow down in sales :- Looking at new products and new markets to maintain revenue growth and increase profitability . Cost reduction strategies aimed at further improving the efficiency of their supply chains, while lowering the cost of distribution. Provide Standardization; – PMO implementation was required in order to provide standardization in managing projects and to gain improvements in the planning and performance of initiatives. • Consolidation : PC industry was looking to reduce cost by increase in economy of scale so consolidation was at its peak. Assuming that AtekPC acquires some other company or and merges with other then need of PMO is much more in order to meet the requirement at accelerated speed and bulk of load. New Projects: – New projects were larger, more complex and they involved multiple functional areas and multiple technological areas. Roles of PMO • Resource Integration: – Project focused responsibilities such as consulting, mentoring and training services that enable success of individual project. • Project Management :- Organizing projects and efficient resource utilization Identify the stakeholders and what is their level of involvement. Increase accountability and focus on need of the project. Business Alignment :- PMO should take care that at the strategic business need were taken care of while choosing and implementing any of the projects so that organization can achieved its set goal. • Cross-functional integration:- Shift the focus from individual departments which were often provided with discrete information services to increase integration among functional areas. • Enterprise Responsibilities : Services to improve all projects such as portfolio management, PM standards, methods and tools and project performance activities.
Problems faced by PMO • PMO vision and role is not clearly defined :- There is no complete consensus regarding its purpose, its responsibilities, and its authority. It has slowly evolved. • Not enough executive stakeholder support :- Not all of the senior executives were equally enthused about the PMO concept. Authority was primarily being developed bottom-up through the value of the PMO services. Even this was limited to those functional areas and IT areas actively engaging the PMO.
There was no current plan to enforce usage at the enterprise level. • Corporate culture limitation :- Corporate cultural change had been informal. They never treated formal processes seriously. Normal operation processes and function units have to change their culture, behaviour, and even habits if they work with a PMO. • No support from department management :- Department managers may see no value in introducing a PMO in their projects. Also there are political conflicts as well, with managers worrying about the PMO getting to much authority. Hard to prove value before the PMO can get more support :- The senior IT managers encouraged a slow, incremental strategy (baby steps) that would allow the PMO concept to prove itself with small victories won through mentoring one project at a time. Hope for PMO • Appreciation for Idea development form: Mr. Nelson, got great response from top officials regarding the ideal form developed by him (charter). It helped employees to prioritize projects and look if at all it was necessary of any benefit to the organization. Support from some functional areas:- Sales and operation functional areas realized potential of PMO and were in favour of implementation of PMO • Past evidence to manage big projects:- In year 2000, conversion of order management AtekPC used project management approach. They got everyone together and got it done smoothly. Everyone appreciated it and said it was done well. • Support from some of employees: – Some employees special who are already handling project (Lead managers) in someway or the other appreciated the PMO concept and hope that it get materialized.
Challenges faced by PMO • Limited resources:- PMO was having just 3 person that too were new to organization and the culture which was a drawback. With few people it was tough to show the positive result and impact of PMO at fact pace. • Accountability:- PC market was already witnessing slow down of business so any cost incurred in this tough time should show positive NPV and early payback to get complete faith of employees and management and proves its efficitveness. Limited time:- Persons taking charge of PMO should not delay too much in getting support from employees and make them adjust their culture. As more time will pass away without much impact of PMO felt by the organization it will become tougher later to prove its credentials and gain support from functional areas of business without demonstrating its worth. Informal approach to projects compared to formal approach. |Informal Aproach |Formal Approach | |It is quicker and aster approach |It takes more time as some formality has to be taken care of| |Less conflict and help in reaching consensus easier |More conflict is likely to be there which lead to difficulty | | |in reaching consensus | |Good understanding and co-ordination so help required can be |Understanding is not that good due to formality. |well understood | | |High trust and personalized relationship is developed |All relations are formal till the need is taken care of | PMO models – Heavy model and Light model Benefits of PMO-heavy is that reinforcement of responsibility for the management of all IT projects. Project can be executed faster and it will be easier for PMO to prove their point and show the difference between having PMO and not having PMO.
Benefits of PMO-light are low resistance because all projects operated under existing organizational control and initial cost will be low as fewer resources will be utilized and people have time to adapt to new concept and see the impact themselves. Strategies to follow • Diplomatic perspective – It is to broaden Senior Executive Stakeholder support. In order to do so it is required to understand who we need to talk to (stakeholder identification) and when we need to say • Marketing perspective – Convince people to buy something they have never used before by focusing on the Return On Investment .
Implementing a PMO will help, projects finish on time, shorten project duration, controlling project priorities, smooth fighting for resources between projects; have trustworthy project priorities. Process-Driven Project Management Office Implementation To be effective, a process must be well understood by project stakeholders and consistently enforced by management. • Public Relations perspective – To let everyone know about the PMO in the organization, PMO changes should nvolve everyone in the enterprise. Everyone in the company should participate in the change. One thing is to get visibility of the PMO across the enterprise and let people know why we need a PMO. • Political Support – Creating standards, policies and procedures for a Project Management Office (PMO) is critical to the proper functioning of projects and programs under the PMO and the ultimate success of the PMO within the larger organization. Corporate Culture perspective – Talking about turning staff culture from informal to formal PMO processes implies we need to be professional in understanding behavioral changes. With a significant change in internal processes, just the initial talk of the intended change can be unsettling to a workforce comfortable in its current routine. Process improvement may perfectly achieve their objectives, but the workforce may not be prepared to accept them as part of their daily routines.
A behaviors-focused approach makes change sustainable. It helps workers modify the way they feel and think about their jobs by aligning attitudes and behaviors with the system and process changes, as well as with the overall direction of the company. Conclusions and Recommendation By taking the initiative and implementing the strategies, hopefully the external relations of the PMO can be enhanced and gain top to bottom organization support. In this way the implementation and maintenance of the PMO can be improved.
In our opinion, AtekPC should go for PMO-heavy after within a short time in order to gain confidence of functional areas and trust of employees. PMO should not be delayed much as industry is already facing consolidation and being inefficient can lead to hostile take over of AtekPC. Though, it is well understood that, at this stage no loss can be faced if PMO fails to prove its credentials. Delaying PMO will give negative image of it as people will perceive PMO of being not much useful. Without PMO it will be tough to reduce cost of resources and match up with other players of the industry.