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Archive for the ‘Con Edison’ tag

Just What is a Strategic PMO?

Written by Paul Rosien on September 29th, 2014 at 7:26 am

UMT360’s recent webinar schedule has focused on enabling PMOs to be strategic. Great topics, with some world-class PMO professionals including Learning How to Establish a Strategic PMO with Carl Souchereau from SNC Lavalin T&D, and Changing the PMO Status Quo with Frank La Rocca from ConEd. In fact, we’ve seen so much interest in the Strategic PMO idea that we’ve created a local breakfast series, starting initially in Chicago and Houston.

But we also thought it would be good to step back and define just what makes up a strategic PMO. We reached out to some industry folks to get their views, and one response stood out in particular. Andy Jordan is the president at Roffensian Consulting, and has over 20 years within the portfolio, program, project and PMO space. Andy’s response aligned very closely with our view, and so we thought we’d let Andy share directly! You can reach Andy at andy.jordan@roffensian.com, and we thank him in advance for the guest post! – Paul

Just What is a Strategic PMO?

By Andy Jordan

In the last few years PMOs have been asked to take on much more ‘business critical’ functions. Some have embraced this opportunity, some have not. The idea of a project focused central services style PMO (people, process, tools, training) is rapidly losing favour because it is not delivering business results. Instead, the idea of a PMO more aligned with the business is gaining traction, and that is what PMOs should always have been. A Strategic PMO is a project centric business department and should be structured and managed in the same way as other business departments – goals and objectives set by enterprise leadership that help the organization as a whole succeed. That’s what we expect for sales, or operations, or fill in the blank other department, and that’s what we should expect of PMOs.

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The Power of Regular Portfolio Reviews and Dynamic Reallocation

Written by Mike Gruia on July 18th, 2014 at 11:12 am

During a recent UMT360 webinar covering How to Become a Strategic PMO (see archive here), we found that only 1% have regular dynamic reallocation reviews via automated processes. Another 39% have regular reviews, but require manual, time-intensive efforts to collect and standardize data.

UMT360’s message to PPM practitioners is that this is their opportunity to take the leap to becoming a strategic PMO office by focusing efforts on gaining control of their investments. Annual planning and traditional resource allocation is not enough, as it cannot accommodate the challenges of market complexity and rapid change. Portfolio rebalancing allows organizations to keep their investment priorities in check and optimize the resource allocation and consumption.

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How do you create a strong Enterprise PMO?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on May 19th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Consolidated Edison’s Frank La Rocca did such a great job setting up an enterprise PMO to handle a $200 million portfolio that the energy company has asked him to do the same for $2 billion of spend.  What made him so successful?  La Rocca understood early on that he had to have the portfolio transparency to know what projects were underway and the financial metrics to gauge their performance.  He had to make changes to ensure he had the information he needed to make smarter portfolio decisions from selection forward.

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UMT360 Gives Utility Financial Intelligence

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 27th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Frank La RoccaCon Edison’s Director of Financial Governance Frank La Rocca is using Microsoft Project Server and UMT360 to provide financial intelligence across the company’s $2 billion portfolio.    He discussed how UMT360 is helping him optimize the capital spend and drive results during the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim earlier this year.  He also shared his governance framework for increasing financial intelligence, building a credible PMO, establishing a ‘sweep process’ to dynamically reallocate capital spend and more.

La Rocca has a sharp understanding of the importance of Portfolio Financial Intelligence.  When he was named VP at a major northeastern utility company, he says the CFO and COO told him they wanted to ensure IT spending was aligned with corporate strategy.  To answer strategic alignment questions, he went in search of information about the total portfolio spend and value but says that information was difficult to come by.

“The answers had to be culled from many different systems and spreadsheets and from interviewing the right people.”

La Rocca says having financial transparency was key to his being able to achieve his team’s goals and support the organization’s overall strategy.  At the Project Conference, Frank discussed financial intelligence, his experience identifying the software that would best help him achieve his goals, and how it is working for him today.

Click the links below to view the series of complimentary UMT360 webinars presented by Frank La Rocca.

Portfolio Financial Intelligence Boosts ROI 
Build a Dynamic Sweep Process to Reallocate Funds 
Benefits Realization – Unleash the Power of the PMO 

PPM & Benefits Realization

Written by Ben Chamberlain on November 20th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

In his recent UMT360 webinar, Benefits Realization:  Unleashing the Power of the PMO, Frank La Rocca, the Director of Business Improvement Services in Con Edison’s Finance Organization, shared a benefits realization framework to effectively track the actual value delivered across the investment portfolio.  To ensure you’re realizing planned benefits, La Rocca said organizations should have a dynamic reallocation process in play.  In a poll conducted during the webinar, 52% of attendees said they currently do not have a reallocation process allowing them to re-evaluate projects during the year and recapture funds which can then be reallocated to new initiatives.   “If you’re finding that you’re leaving money on the table, this is a good way to move money around and perhaps squeeze more juice from the portfolio,” he explained.   La Rocca also said it’s important that organizations be aware of their churn rate, something that 69% of attendees did not know.  His company takes the original portfolio and subtracts the give backs and under-runs, then adds approved increases, over-runs and new projects to come up with a sense of the churn or project work that didn’t happen.   For more on creating a benefits realization framework to improve business results, view Frank La Rocca’s webinar available here.

How often should you evaluate projects?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 28th, 2013 at 9:52 am

In a recent HBR article The Hidden Indicators of a Failing Project, author Gretchen Gavett explores why people are reluctant to bring up red flags during the course of a project.  On the list of How to Manage Big Projects Differently are “check and revise your business case regularly” and “monitor what’s not being spent.”  Those are two items that Con Edison’s Frank La Rocca has dealt with over the years as he’s worked to increase project success rates.  It meant having a discussion about how practical it really is to only evaluate projects annually.

In an October 30th webinar, Frank, who is the energy company’s Director of Business Improvement Services, discussed how instituting a “sweep process” allowed his organization to make changes that, in the end, translated into greater ROI.  How do you get started?  Check out Frank’s webinar – the recording is now available on UMT360 or by clicking here.  He looks at how dynamically reallocating project funds will help you optimize capital spend and increase your ROI.

PPM 2.0: How a ‘Sweep Process’ Helps Maximize ROI

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 25th, 2013 at 10:52 am

Almost two years ago, Con Edison’s Director of Business Improvement Services, Frank La Rocca, instituted a ‘sweep process’ to allow for dynamic budget reallocation.  “It allows project managers to release funds dynamically during the year and we can secure those funds for other projects.  Once we know a project is not going to use that money, we take it, we sweep it away and we invest it strategically in another project,”  Frank explains.  He says that allowed the utility to increase its utilization though it required a culture change early on.  “The sweep process is really where we get a lot of bang for our buck and if I were to describe the process, it’s really breaking the annual budgeting planning mold.  We had so many project managers say ‘that estimate you’re holding me accountable for , we did that so early on when we didn’t really know a lot about the project yet, now that the project is executing, you’re still holding me accountable and that’s not fair.’  What we allow them to do is literally reforecast on a quarterly basis and give up money that we can use for other projects.”

Learn more about how to institute a ‘sweep process’ to maximize your PPM ROI.  View Frank La Rocca’s webinar on dynamically reallocating funds to optimize capital spend.  Click here to view the recording and also to learn more about how incorporating Portfolio Financial Intelligence has helped Frank and his team more successfully manage their project portfolio.

 

Helping You Boost Your Project Portfolio ROI

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 16th, 2013 at 10:37 am

Today, many companies are failing to realize up to 46% of the planned business value from their project portfolios. The key to recapturing that lost business value is Portfolio Financial Intelligence (PFI).

UMT360 is please to launch a series of three webinars presented by Frank La Rocca, Consolidated Edison’s Director of Business Improvement Services within the Finance Organization.  He will discuss his own experiences at Con Edison and other US corporations; look at the most common business practices contributing to that lost business value; and share a proven framework for creating a strong foundation for PFI.  You’ll learn how to go beyond traditional PPM capabilities to gain complete financial transparency, dynamically optimize capital spend, make smarter investment decisions and ultimately improve project success rates.

In his first session, airing on October 16th, Frank looked at changes businesses need to make today in financial estimating and governance to create a strong PFI foundation.  He covered building robust business cases to evaluate competing requests, aligning capital spend with strategic priorities, establishing baseline metrics to evaluate current performance, and determining and analyzing root cause.

Click here to view the webinar.  We’d also appreciate your feedback on the webinar series.

Are you ready for PPM 2.0?

Written by Ben Chamberlain on October 1st, 2013 at 5:07 pm

UMT360 is pleased to bring you a series of webinars on PPM 2.0 – Why Portfolio  Financial Intelligence (PFI) is Key.  You can click here to view the recording of the first in the series presented in late September  by UMT360 CEO Mike Gruia.  Join us for the next three webinars being presented by Frank La Rocca from energy company Con Edison.

PPM 2.0:  Portfolio Financial Intelligence Boosts ROI
Wednesday, October 16th |  View Webinar

Today, many companies are failing to realize up to 46% of the planned business value from their project portfolios. The key to unlocking more ROI from your strategic initiatives is Portfolio Financial Intelligence (PFI).  In this webinar, Frank shares a proven framework for going beyond traditional PPM capabilities to gain complete financial transparency, dynamically optimize capital spend, make smarter investment decisions and ultimately improve project success rates.  Frank will discuss how enhancing financial estimating and governance best practices helps to  build a strong PFI foundation.   In this session, you’ll learn to build robust business cases to evaluate competing requests,  align capital spend with strategic priorities, establish baseline metrics to evaluate current performance, and determine and analyze root cause.

PPM 2.0:  Build a Dynamic “Sweep Process” to Reallocate Funds �
October 30th – Register to Attend

Today, companies are failing to realize up to 46% of the planned business value from their project portfolios. Further analysis reveals that close to half of that unrealized value can be attributed the poor financial tracking and variance analysis, resulting in the inability to gauge the economic impact of underperforming projects and take corrective action.  During this session, Frank will share a proven framework to help business effectively measure portfolio financial performance and dynamically reallocate (sweep) capital spend.  This framework helps companies measure project financial performance and variance metrics, dynamically reallocate funds across the portfolio to continuously optimize capital spend, and establish the supporting governance culture and reporting processes.

PPM 2.0:  Benefits Realization – Unleash the Power of Your PMO
November 13th – Register to Attend

Today, stakeholders tend to exaggerate the benefits included in business cases to secure project funding. Often these planned benefits go unrealized causing a loss in confidence in the PMO team. Building a credible benefits realization process is key.  During this session, Frank shares proven best practices to establish a benefits realization framework to effectively track the actual value delivered across your investment portfolio.  This framework helps companies establish a repeatable process to track benefits, derive metrics to measure estimating accuracy at key funding gates, drive accountability to encourage realistic estimates and capture lessons learned to improve project success rates.