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Monday, 16 June 2008 19:09

Components of a PMO - Part 2 - PPM Application

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This is part 2 of a series of blog posts in which I look at the components of a PMO and give you a pragmatic way to increase your PMO success and improve your PM maturity.

The Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Application is an important component of your Project Management Office (PMO).

Let's first look at a very simplified process of how to create the information that goes into your PPM Application - after all, what good is an empty PPM Application. You'll have to fill it with "something": When you are starting out on the journey of creating a PMO one of the first things that you need to do is get an understanding of the ongoing and planned projects in your company and then managing them. You start out by doing an inventory of your current projects, including necessary criteria such as cost, benefi, risk, schedule, assigned project manager or current status. Next, you want to prioritize your projects. Most often this is done by a group of executives in order to ensure that all projects that are undertaken are indeed aligned with corporate strategy. These executives also have the required authority to make necessary trade offs between the projects. And finally, you will want to establish a process of continuous review of your "project list". Like I said, this is a very simplified view of the process but in most small and medium PMOs this makes sense.

And now, let's take a look at the "Application". Most people immediately think of a full-featured application like a Microsoft Project Portfolio Server, CA Clarity or similarly complex tools. And yes, these tools are used in many PMOs and they serve their purpose and their users well. But what do you do when you don't have an appropriate budget? Simple: You are going to use the tools that you already have. All three of the PMOs that I helped build did not have a full-featured PPM Application. Instead, we created a list of our existing projects either in MS Word, MS Excel or MS Project (desktop version). This was more than adequate for our purpose and is usually sufficient for any small and medium sized PMO.

Therefore, if you are in the process of setting up a small to medium sized PMO, start out by calling a simple list of your projects your "PPM Application". Later, when you have reached a certain maturity and you have been able to prove the worth of the PMO in your company, then it is time to consider implementing a full-featured tool.

Read 6898 times Last modified on Sunday, 13 December 2009 15:08

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a Project manager, PMP trainer, host of The PM Podcast, creator of the PM Prepcast, PDUCast, public speaker and gummi bear addict.

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