At Linder Consulting, we understand and embrace the fact that there is no one size fits all Project Management Office. We strive to right-size the PMO and ensure it provides no more and no less structure than what is needed to achieve the desired outcomes. This means working closely with the executive team and gathering input from stakeholders at all levels to design a PMO that produces the planned results, while minimizing overhead and reducing the implementation time frame. We understand the PMO must live and grow within the organization's culture and value system, so our recommendations are geared at identifying the right flavor of PMO to in order to increase buy-in and promote adoption. We know from experience that smart and practical processes, not forcing people to learn the latest buzzwords, produce the best results - so we try to leverage existing processes and incorporate as much familiar terminology as possible as we develop the PMO framework and processes. We understand that long-term success and return on investment depend on sustainability, so we view each process, tool and piece of documentation through this lens.
Our PMO consulting services include:
- Assessing the organizational PM maturity in IT and in business units;
- Determining the type of PMO that makes sense for the organization;
- Recommendations for closing the maturity gaps for the desired type of PMO;
- Assessment of current tools and templates and recommendations for improvements;
- Recommendations on core PM processes and protocols to match the organization’s current and desired future state PM maturity;
- Assessing the skills and aptitude of PMs already on staff;
- Assisting with recruiting and training PMs to support the immediate and long-term goals of the organization; and
- Providing oversight and quality assurance during the early stages of the PMO implementation.
Project Management Maturity Assessments
Linder Consulting conducts a series of interviews, analyzes documentation and audits completed projects to ascertain the current level of PM maturity of the organization. We determine what level of maturity most closely corresponds to the current state in various business units and for the overall organization using concepts and frameworks found in the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3). We then work with leaders and key stakeholders to determine what target level of maturity is appropriate for the organization given the number of concurrent projects, staffing levels, and funding available to support the initiative.
PMO Structure/Type Recommendations
There are several flavors of PMOs and it is very important to the success of the initiative to understand the types of PMOs that are common and determine which one fits the maturity and needs of the organization. A PMO can range from providing a set of optional tools and guidance to business units all the way to having formal authority and responsibility for projects in its portfolio. It is very important to understand the appropriate level of involvement, staffing and authority for the PMO before attempting to design tools, protocols and processes to be implemented. We can assist the organization in thinking through the pros and cons of each type of PMO and determining which type best suits the needs of the organization based on the specific problems being solved or opportunities being exploited by establishing a PMO.
Once the desired PM maturity level and the type of PMO have been established, Linder Consulting can develop a gap analysis detailing the areas that need improvement and/or investment and providing a detailed roadmap for how to close the gaps, including reasonable timeframes and concrete steps for doing so.
Tools and Templates Assessment & Recommendations
Linder Consulting brings to each engagement a variety of tools and templates that can be customized to meet the specific needs of any organization. These tools have been developed over years of experimenting with what actually works and adds value to projects and what simply adds bureaucracy and overhead. Our philosophy is simple when it comes to tools and templates: if it doesn’t add value, don’t do it. Through document reviews, interviews (and occasionally small focus groups) we work with key stakeholders to determine what tools and templates are working and should be maintained and identify any gaps in the toolset that need to be filled. We also recommend adjustments to current tools to make them more efficient and effective.
Process and Protocols Recommendations
Using a methodology similar in mechanics to the tools and templates assessment, Linder Consulting analyzes the organization’s PM processes and protocols for efficiency and effectiveness. We make recommendations for automation of processes where advisable and practical. We also make recommendations on how to streamline processes to increase return on investment and increase stakeholder buy-in. The keys to successful PM processes are to make them only as complex as the environment demands and to ensure that stakeholders who must use them are involved in developing them and understand their purpose and value. To this end, we can facilitate focus groups and interviews with stakeholders to discuss and provide input into the organization’s PM processes.
PM Skills & Aptitude Assessment
Our consultants can provide an evaluation of the soft and technical skills, aptitude, and attitude of PMs currently employed by the organization or any other staff members being considered for a PM role. Our years of experience on the front lines managing projects make it possible for us to quickly assess the likelihood of success with the current PM staffing and make suggestions for professional development of current staff and recommendations on the required staffing to support the organization’s goals.
Recruiting and Training PMs
If it is determined that additional staffing will be necessary to implement the desired PM processes or establish the PMO, Linder Consulting can assist with identifying viable candidates, screening candidates, conducting interviews and making recommendation on new hires. Once the PM(s) are hired, we can assist with training them on the recommended tools, templates, processes and protocols the organization is implementing. This is often extremely helpful in maintaining momentum on the initiative and ensuring that newly implemented processes do not lose support due to lack of knowledge transfer.
PMO Oversight and Quality Assurance
If a PMO is being established as part of the consulting engagement, we recommend a “shadowing” period where the leadership of the PMO is assumed by an in-house resource, but Linder Consulting remains in a support role to ensure the recommendations are fully and correctly implemented before ending the engagement. This approach can reduce the investment in the PMO Director by leveraging our seasoned consultants during the implementation stage where the heaviest lift always occurs. Once the PMO is well-established and processes are sustainable, the role of Director will not require as experienced a resource to maintain it. While there are some consulting costs up front, this can save on the long-term costs of the initiative and increase the return on investment to the organization.