In a recent McKinsey & Co. survey among senior executives, 60% of the respondents identified the need for building stronger management discipline in their companies as one of their top three priorities. The main reason behind this prioritization lies in the fact that every organization’s efficiency depends on its ability to manage effectively different projects whilst achieving their business goals based on optimal allocation of resources. There are many examples of enterprises, which are proficient in creating visionary business agendas and creating strategic goals, yet they are unsuccessful at execution. Methodologies, tools and techniques for efficient project management come as a remedy to this problem.
Project Management (PM) is a very pragmatic and tangible discipline, which can directly lead to business value. In particular, PM provides the means to control spending and improve business results, not at an abstract level, but rather based on measurable indicators. Effective project management reduces risks, cuts costs and improves the level of accomplishment of project goals. Moreover, when working with customers project management provides a means to track and meet customer expectations, which can make a business more customer-centric. This goes beyond meeting conventional KPI (Key Performance Indicators), as it increases customer satisfaction and sets a basis for a successful relationship.
The business value of project management is usually amplified when combined with other elements such as:
Employing proven PM best practices and integrating them across all levels of the organization is a key prerequisite for excellent project management. Some of the most common best practices include:
Acknowledging the importance of project management excellence, enterprises are increasingly centralizing the management and execution of their projects through Project Management Offices (PMOs) i.e. specialized departments or entire business units that focus on project management. PMOs apply the above-listed best practices and are typically proficient in applying standard project management methodologies, which enables them to confront the challenges of complex projects.
PMOs can also evolve to Project Management Center of Excellence (PM CoE), through adding capabilities for educating, coaching and engaging employees and other stakeholders on project management issues. The establishment of a PM CoE advances organizations through shifting their culture towards the more effective management of projects in-line with their business strategy. The idea of a PM CoE is extremely promising, yet challenging as it changes the entire organization. Therefore, we herewith provide a set of guidelines that could help organizations establish and successfully manage a PM CoE:
Overall, a PM CoE can have a profound impact on corporate processes and results. However, in order to do so, it is likely to disrupt many aspects of an organization including reporting processes, performance management systems, communication procedures, human resources, corporate politics and more. Organizations must therefore work hard in order to establish and operate a PM CoE, in a way that pays-off. The above-listed guidelines provide a sound basis that can help you get started.
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