When the Challenge is Twofold

Case Study

  • Industry — Government
  • Expertise — Project Management
  • Timeline — 8 weeks
  • Value Delivered — $1 million

A superagency was formed by a major government reshuffle. To help this new organisation hit the ground running they required a common business unit reporting system so they could work together in synch. To achieve this they needed us to select and implement a new system within 8 weeks.

We kicked off a rapid analysis of the superagency’s five business units, overlaid it with some best-practice insights from market-research experts Gartner and created an Options Paper which was presented to the Board within two weeks. The Board chose the option of implementing an Enterprise Portfolio Management Office (EPMO) using the methodologies of Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) at portfolio level; and a hybrid Prince2 at the program and project level. Running in parallel, we wrote a business case based on the Options Paper, and starting implementing a cloud-based EPMO system. The first set of system generating portfolio level reports was due in six weeks, with the EPMO implementation across the whole of the superagency expected in the following two months.

Delivering on Two Fronts

The initial delivery sprint used agile methodologies, cloud technologies and simplified processes to ensure a speedy deployment (six weeks). The system was rounded out using common tools, templates and a realignment of Risk Frameworks to balance superagency needs with the business unit’s project needs.

The more difficult aspect of the delivery proved to be connecting the changes to the organisation. Bringing five disparate business units together under one project management umbrella proved a serious challenge.

During the original analysis phase, we undertook a series of assessments to determine the gap between the executive's project management desires and expectations and the business unit's maturity levels, skills and capabilities. There was a considerable gap that required both a resetting of the executive’s expectations and a Three Year Capability Improvement Plan for the business units, which included training, up-skilling and mentoring programs, designated change champions, common terminologies, frameworks, overarching strategies and a Community of Practice. The implementation of a cloud project management Knowledge System proved extremely successful in rapidly raising the maturity levels within the first three months of implementation. The changes at the business unit level were complimented at the executive level where a coaching and mentoring program was introduced.

Working Together for a Successful Outcome

Within six months of the implementation, the superagency had graduated from simple project management to true portfolio management. Governance components had been streamlined, dependency mappings were standard and significant effort had been put into linking the superagency benefits to their strategic goals. Portfolio prioritisation of programs and projects was introduced in the subsequent six months, ensuring strategic alignment at all levels across the whole of the superagency. Underpinned by the tool’s statistical information, this new alignment enabled the executive to make informed, strategically focused business decisions.

  1. Real Drivers of Change

    Don't forget that people power the project; it doesn’t matter if you have 'state of the art' technology - if the teams involved don't understand how to best use it, or cannot work in an optimal way, the implementation will never be a full success. 

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