In a Project Management Operations Office or PMOps™, we take the best of both worlds: Application Management and Project Management, and merge them together into a cohesive operational management team to take your application portfolio to the maximum utilization and efficiency as quickly as possible.
Does your organization have delivery managers, application managers or another flavor of manager who manages the technical support team for an application within your organizations portfolio? Not only are these people balancing managing a team, approving time, expenses, vacation requests; they also deal with contracts, licensing, departmental budgeting etc., etc. They can’t be expected to have subject matter expertise nor can they spend time on the hours of research needed to be able to plan and schedule upgrades, enhancements, service patches and bug fixes.
In a PMOps™ Project Management Operations Office, strategic application and portfolio planning is a shared service with the application management team. Just think in terms of how that could positively impact your intake process. Instead of doing the projects based on a business user’s request for new shiny things, you could actually take your Enterprise Applications and open up the functional utilization throttle to full blast. By aligning your Project Management staff to a service line application within your organization, you will grow that subject matter expertise, and the project manager becomes an integral part of both the business operations colleagues and the IT team. The project manager works in a collaborative way with the application manager to do the leg work and research required to make solid strategic gains by completing the right projects in the right timeframes. By using a project manager as the liaison between technical managers and business operations team, you develop that acumen and expertise intermixed with good project management to develop a world class five-year road map for each major application that you own. The only items that flow in through intake after that will be emergent need, exception items and regulatory requirements.
In a PMOps™ organization, aligning project managers to a particular application as a full service strategic planning partner will develop business relationships and give a level of service that your business partners have not experienced. Utilizing a project manager who is well versed in project planning helps to structure the projects in a solid way where dependencies are well planned for. It takes the stress of having to know everything about an application that your front line managers tend to be weighted down with. We all know that long-term planning is not one of middle management’s strongest points. It reminds me of a time when I was managing an infrastructure upgrade program and one of the application managers said, “Hey, by the way… I’m going live with my upgrade next week, and I have about 300 people that need to be upgraded to Windows 10.” My response was, “Whatever happened to planning?” His response was, “Hey that’s planning, it’s just poor planning.” I’m sure there are some application managers who can do it, and I know I’m painting with a broad brush, but believe me it works. If you just started out with this support structure for your enterprise applications, it would be a great start to managing the utilization growth long-term. Now that you have the big rocks covered, you can reassess your project management staffing levels to cover the ad hoc things, so this is a better way to manage your resources and keep your project managers staffed to capacity.
If you are ready for the next generation of PMO contact me at [email protected]
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Kim Curtis, PMP
Kim Curtis has been a project manager for more than 30 years as both a permanent employee and an outside consultant. Her vast knowledge of Project Management practices and exposure to Project Management Offices in a diverse collection of business sectors gives her an edge to disseminate what needs to be done to improve your Project Management Office business processes and help you take your PMO to the next level PMOps™ a new design of PMO that will improve your project delivery from concept to close.
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