by Jurie Moolman
PMO (Project Management Office) Managers do need to take stock of the effectiveness and efficiency of their PMO’s from time to time – but rather than always bringing in an external consultant to do this, the below article gives a framework of how the PMO Manager can go about to do such by him/herself (DIY – Do It Yourself) – maybe with the aid of a consulting company like InnoLead, if needed.
Typical project symptoms that indicate that it is time for a PMO audit could be:
- Projects do not complete on time coupled with failure to achieve cash flow.
- Deviations from the standard project management processes which are supposed to guide project managers to ensure the predictability of outcomes.
- Insufficient Executive/Organisational support to projects, for example, a slow decision-making process or lack of understanding of the Project Sponsorship role.
- Ineffective organisational structures
DIY Step 1:
PMO’s are part of a larger organisation, and the first area to take stock of – is to confirm if the larger organisation is still in support of the PMO objectives and this could be done through an objective measurement of the organisation’s project, programme and portfolio maturity by using a Maturity Assessment Model – delivering a Maturity Assessment Report and a proposed Road Map for organisational improvement.
A Maturity Assessment Model is an assessment instrument based on a set of questions that represents the knowledge areas (or process perspectives) in a Project Portfolio. The levels of maturity have a rating between 1 and 5 where 1 is “Immature” and 5 is “Mature” and it is an indication of how well the specific process step (or project methodology) is established and followed by the individual or the department or the company.
There are multiple maturity assessment models in the market but three will be highlighted below:
- PMI’s (Project Management Institute) OPM3 (Organisational Project Management Maturity Model),
- Kendall and Rollins PMO Maturity model based on PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge),
- The UK Cabinet Office (formerly known as OGC – The UK Office of Government Commerce) is the owner of the P3M3 maturity model and they have a range of frameworks, models and assessment tools including the Project Management Maturity Model (PjMM) which is derived from the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model (P3M3) which uses a set of questions that measures the maturity at 5 levels over 7 process perspectives (or business areas).
DIY Step 2:
The next area that needs to be addressed in the audit is a Landscape Analysis, listing all the existing active projects under the PMO control to ascertain the RAG (Red, Amber & Green status indicators) of each project and estimated completion dates.
The goal of the Landscape Analysis/Audit is to compile a list of active projects and to confirm the health of these projects by using a RAG status on the project budget, schedule and scope. An audit should also be done on the project management deliverables (see the potential list of deliverables below), and thus the application of Professional Project Management (PPM) disciplines. Feedback from the project and engineering managers interviewed should be noted.
- Red (on the RAG status) could be defined as “Requires immediate remedial action”
- Amber could be defined as “Warning that risks are likely to have a negative impact – requires attention”
- Green could be defined as “On track, On budget and Within Scope – requires no action”
Project Landscape parameters could include:
- Confirmation of project cost code.
- Confirmation of project life cycle status i.e. still in Initiation or Planning or already tracking progress in the Execution phase.
- For projects in the Execution phase: Confirmation of the projects start date (as per the Project Justification Document) and estimated finish dates and how this compared to the approved Project Justification Document or PDN (Project Deviation Notes).
- Confirmation of the current approved project ‘budget’.
- Current overall status of the project, e.g. Red. Amber or Green, and the reason or motivation why, e.g. is the project on schedule, within budget and within scope, or not.
- Who is the Project Sponsor & Project Client?
Confirmation of the key Project Governance Documentation could include:
- Having a Project Justification Document (signed).
- Having a Capital Registration.
- Handover documents (if relevant), i.e. if the project was handed over from one project manager to another in the lifetime of the project; i.e. was there handover documentation?
- Scope of Work documentation.
- Minutes of project meetings.
- Confirmation of having project risk meetings and reviewing risk logs.
- Issue logs and a Decision log (i.e. a Chronology of major decisions that reflects the project history).
- Project Schedule (approved).
- Communications plan.
- Quality plan.
- Cost plan.
- Updated PEP (Project Execution Plan).
- Signed contracts with all contractors on site.
- Cost Register.
- Site Instruction logs.
- PDN (Project Deviation Note) register.
- Delivery Sign-Off documentation.
- Retrospect report.
- Closure report.
DIY Step 3:
In this step, it would be important to consolidate both the Maturity Analysis and the Landscape Analysis and to compile a Recommendations Report to highlight the learnings and the roadmap going forward to address these. If the existing PMO methodology needs tweaking, then this would be the time to address such. Also consider training, awareness and support as needed. A typical high-level audit implementation approach could be as per below diagram.
This then concludes this article on ‘PMO Managers DIY Toolset for Self-Audit’. For any clarification or assistance.
Jurie Moolman holds the position of Projects Controls Manager at InnoLead Consulting offering Project Management Consultancy and Corporate Training solutions. He can be contacted on +267 3909102 and firstname.lastname@example.org.