Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Get Ready for Enterprise Project Management

Many high-growth organizations find themselves outgrowing their existing project management practice and tools. With a growing portfolio, project information becomes more and more scattered pushing the capacity of resources beyond their limits. The project management leader inherits the responsibility of project delivery without the appropriate tools in place to deliver the desired results demanded from their stakeholders. So, these organizations arrive at a fork in the road and are faced with the decision to either scaling back their project intake to align with their current capabilities or change their approach by adopting an Enterprise Project Management (EPM) system.

For project-centric organizations looking to incorporate an EPM strategy in their practice, it is recommended to adopt an approach in which the organization as a whole is plugged into the improved ways of tracking, accessing and sharing project information. EPM takes a holistic approach to managing all projects with great consideration given to their impact on the people, processes and corporate objectives. The idea is to develop a project management environment where projects are treated as a group of interrelated goals that are linked to a single group of people with finite availability and talent.

EPM focuses on a single project’s success within the context of other competing projects and resources, which means the focus on successful scheduling, planning, execution and delivery must consider the success of all projects impacting an organization. At the core of EPM, project-centric organizations need to implement a holistic approach of managing projects within the context of all the activities performed. So, a successful EPM strategy includes enterprise wide buy-in, inclusive processes and a far reaching EPM platform to deliver the 360 degree view across the organizations. The goal of EPM should be to transform your project management practice into a formalized process with a well-defined framework and best practices guidelines.

Many organizations are too late in discovering they are ready for EPM. Like many businesses, initially project management is a means to an end to either deliver what was sold to customers or to deliver the infrastructure to keep up with a growing business. In a typical reactive mode, those “running” the projects realize that they cannot keep up with the pace and are faced with the reality that a change to their processes need to mature in order to deliver the quality results that customers demand.  Although recognizing their growth and taking this first step toward a more mature practice, technology is only one piece of the EPM puzzle.

In order to take a more proactive approach to streamlining your project management practice, consider a EPM Readiness checklist, according to The Project Management Hut:

  • Does your organization have a growing portfolio of projects impacting the bottom line?

Do not wait until your project pipeline becomes unmanageable. If you are in a high growth industry where projects are central to your success, you should incorporate an EPM strategy earlier.
  • Does your project pipeline exceed the abilities of your current resources?

The moment your pipeline of projects is approaching your capacity of resources and EPM strategy needs to be considered. People are the cornerstone to successful projects and preparing your EPM resource plan before it becomes an issue can avoid future losses.
  • Do you leverage any industry best practices?

Getting ready for EPM means you need to build a project management best practices approach to delivering projects. Formalizing your approach builds the ideal culture for the success of EPM in the organization.
  • Do you have a formal process in place?

Establishing a formal process builds the structure to support an EPM strategy. A framework should engage the whole organization so that the holistic philosophy of EPM is setup for success.
  • Are your existing tools falling short?

The best indicator you need to look at EPM solutions is when your existing tools lag in delivering the information to hit project timelines and manage your distribution of work among resources.
  • Do you have executive buy-in for change?

With the introduction of any new EPM process or technology the change management question cannot be ignored. Including a change management component from the top down can mean the difference between the success and failure of EPM.

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