Getting to Good Governance: From Policing to Orchestrating [Report]

by Booz and Company, October 3, 2012

This report, published by Booz & Company, explains how rethinking traditional project management offices (PMOs) can protect businesses from common pitfalls and repeat mistakes.

As the report details, by extending the scope of the PMO to the strategy and design phases of an IT project, organizations can better identify and address risks before they develop. Essentially, the typically reactionary PMO that focuses on fixing recurring issues can take on a more agile and proactive role by establishing a strategic implementation office (SIO) that helps organizations move beyond problem identification and into the realm of problem solving. Best of all, the SIO can provide a stable governance model that ensures project goals are aligned with business objectives while handling necessary alterations should objectives change.

Download the report below to read more about the benefits of adopting a strategic implementation office to redefine project management.

Executive Summary

As technology projects increase in complexity, elevating their failure rates, public and private organizations are searching for new mechanisms to control their costs and ensure technology systems deliver what they need. Their long-standing reliance on project management offices (PMOs) to oversee these projects may have added to organizations’ awareness of implementation risks and challenges, but it has done little to prevent these problems from arising in the first place. As a result, organizations are left dealing with the same issues they faced before the dawn of PMOs, namely, technology solutions that do not align with their business requirements, poor oversight of vendor relationships, and paralysis at the C-suite brought on by the need to make every decision, even the most minute.

Enter the strategic implementation office, or SIO. By extending the scope of the PMO to the strategy and design phases of an IT project, organizations are empowered to avoid these common pitfalls by identifying and addressing risks before they develop. As a strategic advisor throughout the project, the SIO coordinates all of the activities of internal and external stakeholders to ensure they are properly managing risk and making decisions to keep the process on track. Along each step of the way, the SIO serves as a valuable partner to senior leaders, helping to define the scope of the project, determining the best sourcing strategy, and assuming the role of ad hoc problem solver. In the end, an SIO puts an organization in the best possible position to deliver technology solutions that are on time and on budget.

Key Highlights

  • Due to their main focus on implementation, traditional PMOs are engaged too late in the process to prevent risks that occur in the earlier phases, relegating their role to damage control.
  • Rather than simply monitor a project’s implementation phase and react to problems as they arise, as traditional PMOs do, the SIO proactively identifies the root causes of potential risks and either eliminates them or keeps them under control through carefully designed mitigation strategies.
  • The SIO provides a consistent and robust governance model that ensures project goals are aligned with business objectives, and it quickly identifies adjustments that need to be made if those objectives change midstream.
  • The SIO helps ensure on-time execution by clearly establishing the responsibilities of every stakeholder involved, the decisions stakeholders are expected to make, and metrics to measure their performance.
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