A former colleague recently asked about our P3O ASAP* capability. To explain the acronyms, what she was really asking about was our "Portfolio, Program and Project Office" (P3O) As Simple As Possible (ASAP) capability. Or to put it another way, P3O in-a-box.
There are significant and proven benefits associated with having a correctly configured P3O. In addition to benefits including delivery predictability, improved coordination of functions and process, efficient people and resource management, reduced delivery costs and cycle time, A P3O is a critical capability linking strategy to delivery. It provides the ability to both do the right things and do things right.
The main drivers for P3O stem from negative beginnings and tales of woe however. There is quite the track record now suggesting that >80% of PMOs fail within 12 months and provide services that are administrative in nature and predominantly provide lower level support to projects. PMOs of this nature don't add any value, become a resource and cost overhead/burden and at best deal with the first two steps of the Information Management ladder - data to information. P3Os ensure the correct holistic framework of measures is in place (capture data and drive information) but really focus on taking that data and information to generate insight and produce knowledge allowing initiatives to proactively navigate while options are a plenty and costs / time are positive rather than providing more after the fact assurance services that typically drive change requests. In agile delivery circles of course, time and budget are fixed so the administrative function driving change requests isn't much help.
Referring to a coherent, modular, proven, management best practice capability that can simply be adopted / leveraged rather than developed from nothing, our P3O in-a-box enables management control via timely decision making, provides an assurance policy for high-profile, high-risk, mission critical initiatives and is focused on outcomes, value and real world results (not methodology debates).
Example of a Project Level P3O set of Services
The premise is quite simple. The P3O function in and of itself is not the aim. P3O is an enabler. Delivery of critical business initiatives impacting the bottom line is where your business focus should be. P3O then is a means to an end that can be leveraged quickly rather than spending on average 8 months running a project to develop that capability. While the initiatives a P3O may overlay are typically novel, transient endeavors, the P3O itself has to be correct lean/efficient and of high value and really does not need to be unique/bespoke. Yes, its configurable but we strongly discourage customization. Why, because it has the proven management best practices baked in. The standards, practices, principles and key tents therefore are already optimal. Configure for company vernacular/industry sector and then leverage it as a tool to deliver on the primary value stream(s) of your business is our humble suggestion.
So how does one adopt/leverage the P3O capability?
Option 1, consider leveraging it as part of a Managed Service arrangement. Yes, we can do it for you as its a strong Managed Service candidate enabling your team to focus on executing its capabilities while our specialist team enables and augments those efforts. This is cost effective, quick and adds resources rather than reduce your available personnel. We also partner with a world leading tooling company so you can leverage PPM solutions as standard.
Option 2 - typical adoption approach/timeline:
i. Assessment & Design (week 1)
ii. Governance Structures and Terms of Reference (week 1+)
iii. Change Management, Orientation, Workshops, Training (week 2+)
iv. Configuration of your P3O instance / delivery toolkit