Innovation and Applied Research R-PMO

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As we move forward with major initiatives as Activity Based Budgeting and a Balanced Score Card, it is necessary to reduce the effort required to manage effectively.

Current versions planning and project management would best serve our needs if we can move toward a common: time cycle, reporting, consolidated metrics and terms of reference.

To ensure that our staff can make the best use of their time and resources, we need to establish formal project management processes that encourage the delivery of work initiatives on time, within budget, and to an agreed upon level of quality.

Part of the ability to execute better, faster, and cheaper comes from the institution's implementation of common processes and practices across the entire organization. That way, there is very little learning curve for a manager and the team members as they transition from one project to another.

The larger an organization gets, and the more projects that are executed at one time, the more difficult it becomes to enforce this organizational consistency. Without it, though, the full value of implementing a common project management methodology is not reached.

A Planning and Project Management methodology is a framework that allows managers at all levels to successfully plan and manage projects of varying sizes. Even in a basic form, standard templates and the use of a tool like MSPROJECT are a good start.

Background

The key to a project like this is to recognize that getting people to become better project managers requires them to do things differently: managing projects more actively, consistently, and rigorously. It also requires different behaviours of the people who work on projects and the clients of the projects. Because we're trying to change the way people do their jobs, this effort is an organizational change management initiative. It's all about trying to change the culture.

Driving culture change requires much more than simply teaching new skills, although training certainly plays a part. Processes that drive good project management behaviours must be reinforced; processes that are barriers to good project management must be changed or eliminated. Resistance to change must be accounted for, expected, and then overcome.

Many change initiatives begin when we try to define what the future will look like. However, describing the future state of project management in our organization is not the major deliverable at this point. The ultimate deliverable from the initial assessment is a gap analysis that shows what we need to focus on to move the organization to where we want it to be.


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