Of course, each company is different and the contract must be tailored for the company. This is why I like asking HR to write it. Then, with senior managements support, ask each manager to commit to the success of the PPM program.
You Said, What?
IT project portfolio management has a basic, yet unique language that is foreign to many business folks and a majority of IT professionals. As with any significant change, the roll-out of a PPM process requires a well planned communications plan.
The PPM communications should be leveraged to accomplish the following four objectives:
Despite your best efforts, some people will go out of their way to avoid acknowledging things have changed. They will say, I assumed the change didnt apply to my area., or Why do we have to go through this process if the CEO says we have to do the project?, and my personal favorite, Its better to ask for forgiveness than seek permission.
This behavior makes its difficult to adopt any structured process, yet alone a highly visible process like PPM.
An unfortunate truth is upper management will be the largest segment of this type of rogue behavior. Because of this, you will need to secure senior executive support prior to your PPM launch. You need to anticipate this form of resistance, get senior executives to acknowledge it is likely to occur, and get them to agree to shut down these rogues when they show themselves.
Procedurally, you must tie the approval of project funds and resources to the selection and prioritization mechanisms of the PPM process.
The Bottom Line
If left unchecked, these resistors will not only stall the implementation of PPM in your company, but can likely submarine the whole effort causing PPM to become an bureaucratic idea that doesnt work.
So expect the resistors, be able to identify them when they begin their negative campaigns, and have the larger organization (i.e., HR and executive management) prepared and playing an active role to minimize and manage them. Once you have all this accomplished there is nothing left to do except, oh yeah, the work!
Jeff Monteforte is president of Exential, a Cleveland, OH.-based information strategy consulting firm, which specializes in IT governance, information security and business intelligence solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.