UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for the ‘dynamic reallocation’ 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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Calling All Strategic PMOs (And Those Looking to Become One)

Written by Paul Rosien on September 8th, 2014 at 8:14 am

Back in July, we ran a successful webinar discussing what it takes to create a strategic PMO. The webcast, led by Carl Souchereau, formerly of TransAlta and now Project Director at SNC Lavalin, provided practical advice around mastering the important yet tactical aspects of project management as well as taking strategic responsibility for managing the investment decisions for the portfolio. (If you missed the webcast, it is archived here.)

Because interest in the webinar was so strong, we wanted to extend the conversation and have created the UMT360 Strategic PMO Breakfast Series. We’re fortunate in that Carl has signed on to present his wisdom again, but we’ll also take some time to look at the latest product developments that help the Strategic PMO fulfill the vision Carl will present, including:

  • Integrating investment planning and controls across the PPM life-cycle that result in optimized spend and maximized ROI
  • Streamlining capital planning and building stronger business cases
  • Automating financial tracking and variance analysis to enable dynamic planning
  • Establishing a benefits realization framework to measure results

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Key Issues Shaping IT Investment Strategies: Interesting Results from Recent Webcast Polls

Written by Mike Gruia on August 4th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

As the enterprise performance crisis pushes IT investments back to the top of IT leadership concerns, we ran three surveys aimed at understanding where the market is at with respect to IT investment strategies.

The questions, asked during the live webinar, Why Integrated IT Portfolio Management Matters, conducted on July 29th, 2014, focused on the key issues shaping today’s IT investment strategies.

The first poll asked about the factors contributing to an organizations struggles with respect to digital investment models. 37% of respondents believe that agile investment and resource allocation is key to the success of the IT investments. UMT360 believes this is one of most underused drivers of effective IT investments, and our research shows that high-performing organizations are more likely to focus on this area of investment management agility. But this agility isn’t possible without portfolio integration and financial maturity. Without this foundation, organizations will struggle to achieve the dynamic reallocation and optimization of investments.

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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 to Overcome IT Investment Roadblocks

Written by Mike Gruia on June 22nd, 2014 at 6:00 am

Many of today’s processes and methods for managing technology investments were not designed for networked organizations operating at high speeds. Financial management best practices  were not created for programs, portfolios and assets.

In a recent webinar, we polled attendees and asked them about which factors are most important in overcoming IT investment management roadblocks. The top top answers, Siloed Investment Thinking and Lacking Enterprise Roadmaps, together accounted for more than half of the total number of responses. This tells me that there is still a significant amount of siloed thinking when it comes to planning and implementation.

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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