An Enterprise P3MO Methodology

Our Enterprise Project, Program & Portfolio Management Office (P3MO) has a central place in monitoring benefits realization through portfolios, projects and other program components, such as operations. The first priority is to develop and implement the standard methodology.

The level of complexity of the processes must be scaled to the maturity of the organization. The defined processes must be looked at as the best routes from the program’s start to the intended result leading to the final program objective.

The methodology proposed will be dynamic and driven by continuous improvement. Finding the right balance between rules and flexibility in the standard methodology is the goal of an effective P3MO. The P3MO will not only establish a methodology but demonstrate flexibility in encouraging program and project managers to use it.

The members of the P3MO should be seen as critical drivers of business improvement—they must not just propose, implement, and apply a program management framework, but enable the company to improve its methodologies and strategic management maturity. The P3MO staff must implement the strategy by creating policies and procedures, acting as a single point of contact for initiation and support of projects throughout their execution, and assisting project managers when needed.

The P3MO will continuously watch for gaps in project planning, delivery, and risk assessment processes that lead to problems and non-conformance costs and address them with improvements of the methodology.

This process will be tailored to the company, and the P3MO must routinely monitor active and proposed projects, and when appropriate, their programs, against corporate strategy.

The methodology highlighted below take into account managing and controlling factors in a program life cycle and can greatly reduce the risk of the program requiring corrective actions. The Information management process covering the Best Practices, Lessons Learned , Process , Control and Plans aligns with the program management life cycle, which are iterative as part of the methodology.  Program’s information content, deliverables, and benefits will be reflected in the information structures as the program progresses through its life cycle with the tools built in

As we understand programs are impacted by external factors (influences) during its life cycle, and unless managed and optimized, the program will lose opportunities and perhaps suffer risk impacts that may not have risk mitigation or risk response plans. The methodology takes into account that the program experiences constraints that could delay schedules and also experiences “integration challenges”, or if either are ignored, they will severely disrupt the program and distract program management attention that should be focused on program definition and planning.

Following external factors can impact the program which needs to be considered

  • Risk Management – Negative & Positive Risks

We would need to consider External and Internal Risks as part of the methodology. External risks (“unknown-unknowns”) consist of political, economic, acts of God and man-made crises not known at the time of key decision making that then may impact the program. Also risks associated with outsourcing, changes to contract conditions, service set up, and service delivery, all will impact the program.

Internal risks (“known–unknowns”) which could impact the program’s triple constraints. A detailed risk planning, identification, and risks response process should be carried out, and the program contingency reserve established by determining the cost to execute the risk response plans and to cover financial impacts of residual risks and secondary risks, i.e., after the risks response plans have been executed.

Risks (Positive) can be disguised as an Opportunity and may be interpreted as threat. However with the required skills you can turn this threat to an opportunity considering the risk tolerance level you can exploit with the organization and thereby achieve maximum gain

Risk categories include operational, process, project, environmental, regulatory, resource and technology will vary depending on factors as risk tolerance, industry, maturity of processes, and other issues.

  Risk Response Description
Positive risks (opportunities) Exploit Make deliberate effort to remove the uncertainty of the risk.
Share Divide the responsibility and benefit with a third party.
Enhance Identifying and maximizing key drivers, in order to increase the probability and/or impact of the opportunity.
Negative risks (threats) Avoid Remove the problem.
Transfer Assign risk to another party. Contracting the work of the activity to an outside firm or buying insurance.
Mitigate Reduce the probability and/or impact of the risk. Requiring only certified resources perform critical activities.
Both positive and negative Acceptance Aware of the risk and choose to do nothing. If the risk occurs, you will deal with either the threat or opportunity as necessary.

Also there is a need to use Risk triggers which are indications the risk occurred or is about to occur. Risk triggers and categories should be used in the risk register. A risk register is a document that contains all the identified risks for the program and its projects as well as analysis and risk response planning information.

The risk register should contain: Unique Risk Identification Number, Risk Description, Risk Owner, Category, Who Identified, Date Identified, Last Updated Date, Mitigation Strategy, Completed Actions, Status, and Analysis Data, such as probability, impact and time proximity.

  • Organizational Process Assets (OPAs)

Organizational process assets encompass policies, procedures, guidelines, templates, checklists, and methodologies. These assets include the organization’s knowledge base such as lessons learned and historical process information as the organization improves and should be well thought out and designed.

There should be an attempt to be made to globalize standards, processes, and procedures to increase efficiency and effectiveness, the approach should involve detailed analysis and design taking into account regulatory, compliance, and local considerations.

Poorly implemented policies, processes, procedures or standards will act as “constraints” within the organization. If in an organization there exists poorly implemented policies and procedures then what are considered assets are in fact constraints. Depending on the severity of the situation, PMO would need to take corrective action.

  • Constraints

From the outset, every program must minimize the impact of internal as well as external constraints to allow as much flexibility while increasing the number of potential options. Making decisions based on the timing of the decision and the option selected will provide the greatest benefit at the optimal time. Internal constraints include fixed deadlines, resource limitations, closeout periods, funding limitations, and limited infrastructure. External constraints include government, industry, and local authority regulations and vendor processes.