Monthly Archives: February 2018


The Project Management Office: What’s in it for IT?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I specialize in the implementation of best practices for organizations. As such, I have rolled out several Project Management Offices (PMOs) for clients in industries such as financial, pharmaceutical and manufacturing. Typically, these PMOs have been within IT shops. It is my observation not only that IT tends to run significantly more projects than other parts of the organization but also tends to have the highest level of project maturity. I recently gave a presentation at a local university on the PMO and how it is 'here to help you but not do your job.' As part of that, I spoke on the state of the PMO (based on studies) and where it is going in the future. You may find this useful in your own environment. Before we talk about who the 'you' is here, let's talk about some statistics. According to a study done by PM Solutions, in 2016 the most recent year for which data was available - 85% of companies had a PMO. (Reading between the lines, not all of these PMO's can be considered 'best in class.' Many have PMO's that are barely functional.) The majority of these PMO's participate in strategic planning with an equivalent number involved in portfolio management. Some of the benefits were: 33% improvement in projects delivered under budget 27% improvement in customer satisfaction 43% improvement in alignment with company objectives 25% decreased in failed projects $175k USD cost savings per project That same study talked about [...]

By | 2018-10-26T02:10:43+00:00 February 10th, 2018|

Humanizing the Stakeholder Experience

I was doing some noodling recently that I'd like to share. I was thinking about the experience that people (aka, stakeholders, be they internal or external) have interacting with any given organization and what shapes their holistic experience and perceptions. I came up with a graphic to illustrate some points for consideration (I chose 'Our IT Team' illustrating the experience business partners have with an IT organization, but it could be any organizational grouping). The graphic indicates that stakeholder (labeled as business partners) perceptions are shaped based on their interaction with People to acquire capabilities that satisfy their needs - think Products with which they interact to accomplish their work. If we consider addressing this 'experience' at all, often it is done in rational terms, and not mindful of a deeper, emotional experience. The graphic digs a little deeper into that emotional experience. It recognizes that when dealing with stakeholders we are dealing with human beings, not 'things'. The purple pyramid in the graphic illustrates the emotions that shape the emotional perception and memory. My friends at Beyond Philosophy refer to this as the Hierarchy of Emotional Value and use it to address emotional customer engagement and loyalty. It's applicable to any human interaction with People or Things (Products). So, the million dollar question is how to consistently shape positive stakeholders emotions interacting to acquire new capabilities, and interacting with things (or Products) once acquired? One, you have to be aware of this dimension and the behaviors that promote a positive emotional experience, [...]

By | 2018-10-26T01:46:40+00:00 February 10th, 2018|

Better IT Decision Making

Have you noticed how slow, inconsistent, and even incoherent most organizational decision-making has become - and how many requests to IT really don't make a significant difference to your clients? Whether you're looking at your own organization's ability to make vital decisions quickly, or your client's inability to make meaningful requests and important decisions on a timely basis - there is an epidemic in poor decision-making going on. However, the quality of decision-making - from the C-level all the way through the organization - is essential to the effectiveness and success of your growth and results. What is behind the inability of leaders and organizations - large and small - to make good decisions? Fundamentally it comes down to a lack of focus on what really matters, or a lack of communicating that effectively for others to make excellent decisions. What grabs way too much attention is the to-do list, rather than the ultimately most important accomplishments list. When attention on activities gets disconnected from what best serves the vision, mission, and goals you have people running around in overdrive - without accomplishing very much that is truly meaningful and valuable. This is exactly the opposite of what the best leaders and organizations do. Since IT is a key enabler of your business partners' capabilities and potential, going along with requests that do not have direct impact on their strategic initiatives is a terrible idea. What the best IT leaders and organizations strive for is clarity with their clients about what is most [...]

By | 2018-10-26T01:54:23+00:00 February 1st, 2018|