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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2013
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 29 Process e process included an initial focus on short- ter m, achievable results in the following areas: project management methodology, sta training and certi cation, ongoing implementation of improvements and a review of long-term strategic issues. One of the critical aspects of the project was aligning the project management strategy with the organisational strategy. "We needed to look at the overall organisational strategic plan and how it owed through to the project group and how it met the strategic direction of the Board," explains Brow ne. Initial assessments for the purposes of accreditation began in May 2008. A number of weaknesses in the project management systems were identi ed, including some project management monitoring tools and sta training procedures. Other areas that needed work included alignment between the project group and the organisation. "We identi ed six key areas on which to focus and around which we could plan. We managed the Accreditation process as a project on its ow n," Brow ne says. Targets were then set for the next six months, although they pushed out to 12 months as the project developed and the scope became clearer. During the project, direct links were created between the project system and the organisation's performance plan, with monitoring against the performance plan undertaken every six-to-12 months. "We also made sure the project aligned with the overall corporate objectives," says Brow ne. "But we didn't estimate how long everything would take, which was why we revised the timings for the project from six months to 12 months. It was important to take the time to get systems right and bed them dow n rather than rush the process," he adds. Outcome SunWater successfully achieved its PMO Accreditation. Brow ne says giving the Board certainty that project management systems would allow the business to successfully manage projects valued in hundreds of millions of dollars was as important as achieving the Accreditation itself. "We were able to give the Board con dence we have proven project management systems and processes, and all the projects we have managed over the past few years have been very successful," he explains. When it came time for the business to have its project management systems reassessed, the team decided to ask the AIPM assessors to return to take a look at how the systems were working. "We achieved the highest score ever awarded," Brow ne reveals. is was a score of 3.9 out of ve, the highest score given by AIPM in the 10 years of PMO Accreditation. e Accreditation process also created direct links between project outcomes and key result areas set by the Board, and between project expectations and individual objectives set for sta members. SunWater holds monthly project steering group meetings for all projects valued above $250,000. In addition, there is a common reporting format and template for all projects, earned-value reporting systems and a risk and issues register, which are all linked to a simple tra c-light report that communicates key project risks to the Board. A health check of the project management system is also conducted once a month. Overall, SunWater experienced a dramatic improvement in its project management systems and has continuously improved its systems since the Accreditation was rst awarded. "Now it's just the way we do things," says Brow ne. "Our people enjoy working with the systems and it also helps the Board understand what the business is doing and the key drivers for projects. "Accreditation has ensured there is a continuity and commonality among all projects." ••• PROJECT MANAGERS VIEW THE NEW SYSTEM AS A WAY OF BETTER MANAGING PROJECTS AND EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF ANY PROBLEMS
Project Manager Dec Jan 2013
Project Manager Apr May 2013