Cultural Buy-In: This is especially crucial at the project and application manager levels. At the beginning of the PMO process, there is usually a small decrease in productivity followed by an increase in project completion time after the implementation is complete.
During the initial slow down it is important to have champions that understand this dynamic and who are willing to accept a temporary drop in productivity in exchange for faster implementations in the future. Buy-in at the executive level is also paramount. Make it a point to understand key stakeholder wants and needs, and address them early in the rollout. This could be as simple as building a portlet which displays a simple project inventory.
A rewards system also helps to ensure organization buy-in. Ideally, performance and best practice consistency should be tied to incentive-based compensation and individuals career goals. Posting project status reports in a highly visible area also goes a long way towards changing behaviorpeer pressure can be a powerful tool.
Training: It is a challenge rolling out new processes across dozens of business units and thousands of users. Establish training and mentoring programs to ensure best practices are consistently followed after training is completed.
Communication: Communicating success is as important to sustaining PMO momentum as the process that goes into creating one. Develop a comprehensive communications plan that ensures successes are being highlighted across all the stakeholder audiences.
Many companies have already recognized the benefits of establishing a process improvement effort. The relationship between an organizations process maturity level and its productivity has been studied extensively. While developing a software process improvement program can be costly, studies have shown that the resulting benefits of improved time-to-market, productivity and software quality far outweigh the initial investment costs.
Establishing a PMO is the first step to improving your project, program and portfolio management best practices so you can accelerate time-to-market and increase the quality of your IT initiatives in a cost-effective manner.
Coming up in part three, my colleague Chris-Craig Jones offers suggestions for setting up effective, iterative benchmarking and project rollout with, "Evolving the Maturity Level of Your PMO."
George Hunte is a Solutions Manager in the IT Governance practice of CA. Hunte develops service solutions that focus on customer satisfaction, developing intellectual capital and expanding the capabilities of the CA delivery team in the PPM space. Hunte has over 14 years of experience in software engineering.