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Project Manager : Project Manager Dec Jan 2013
38 Project Manager THE OFFICE THE TEAM WAS GETTING NEAR THE end of the PMO Christmas dinner when Sandra, the portfolio analyst, asked during a pause in the conversation what everyone's New Year's resolutions were going to be. "I think we need to be more customer- focused and less of a policeman," she said. at got them thinking about the year gone by, the changes they had seen and what could be done better next year. It was clear 2012 had been a big year. Portfolio management had been introduced and good progress was made on bene ts management and tracking -- although only a couple of projects had been transitioned to business as usual, enabling tracking to start. One signi cant change had been getting everyone to understand that programs were not ' big projects'. Managing Successful Programs (MSP) was good for establishing the customer care and billing program, but the PMO got o to a bad start applying MSP to the asset replacement program of work. All was ne once the program was given a de ned budget and replanned as a separate portfolio of work with shared resources. Culture clash Understanding other cultures was identi- ed as another area for development. e integration of the Filipino company acquisi- tion went well and the outsourcing of the call centre only had a couple of misunderstand- ings. But the new team of agile developers dow n the cor ridor was still a mystery. ey showed that culture really is about the char- acteristics of a particular group of people, which includes everything from language and religion to cuisine and social habits. Researcher Geert Hofstede once said: "Culture is more often a source of con ict than of synergy ... cultural di erences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster." is led to a discussion about change and everyone agreed to introduce a review of project teams and their acceptance of change. A couple of IT projects that failed to deliver successful outcomes this year and the project managers, expecting resistance, created a detailed change plan addressing risks and communications. When users complained, the project teams ramped up communications with no e ect. After heated discussions with the project board, the users went away and came back with evidence that the new processes created additional work rather than reduced it. As the business team had accepted budget cuts on the basis of the e ciency bene ts, they had to make cuts in other areas to make up the shortfall. One positive outcome for the PMO was that the business units have taken more ownership of projects and asked the PMO to give IT project benefits a lot more scr utiny. What PMOs wish for Although they didn't get around to New Year's resolutions, the PMO did make CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ARE A NUISANCE AT BEST AND OFTEN A DISASTER GARY YORKE AIPM VIC COUNCILLOR AND VIC PMO SIG CHAIR Gary Yorke is a senior consultant with MetaPM, advising on and implementing PMOs and project management capabilities. He is also an AIPM Victoria Councillor and Chair of the Victoria PMO SIG. New year, new fortune? In the festive season, the PMO reflects on a year of trials and triumphs and compiles its Christmas wish list.
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012
Project Manager Feb Mar 2013