Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Week 3 (Building a Program Management Office)

Mostly travel this week. Why is it that all your flights are perfect on your way out, but when you’re heading home, the entire aviation infrastructure fails? Of course I ended up getting home, tired and somewhat more fragrant than when I left.

The biggest things this week were the requirements. The team did agree to get together in person (guess who is writing this from the airport) to work out the details. I’m very optimistic about the meeting and the outcome. I will get the chance to facilitate a larger meeting with team members from different sites, and I’ll get to introduce a few tools and techniques.

First one will be a forced-ranking system that I’ve used for a variety of purposes from ranking projects to employees. It is a simple paired-comparison process that you can do on a grid. The one I’ll do will be on an excel spreadsheet. Below is a short example of how this works.

The idea is that each alternative is compared once against every other alternative. Half the table is shaded since you are making only one comparison. You can either work down the columns or by rows. Working down the A column, you would ask at each cell - “which is more important A or B, A or C, A or D and so on.” Once you have done this for each row, simple add up the number of times each alternative occurs. The alternative that occurs the most is the most important and so on. In the event of a tie, look for the cell where the tying alternatives were compared – the one selected is the higher. This ends up in a forced ranking with some good indications of the relative importance and differences between the alternatives.

Another tool I’m going to use is a roles and responsibility grid. Pretty simple, but there really is not one for this program.

On the PMO side, I’ve got some work! We have several areas where documents are kept, but they generally are the documents needed by each team, and not a comprehensive set of project documents. There really is not a clear standard for program documentation – there are a lot of suggestions and formats. Our challenge is to set a standard and the appropriate procedures that work within the multiple organizations. I am confident we can do it. I think the roles and responsibilities is the place to start. Understand what is expected of each role, then we can move towards procedures.

Other challenges include Risk management, change management, issue management, and many of the other traditional PM stuff. More and more next week and on.

By the way – never never tempt or challenge the airline gods for they are a vengeful and capricious lot. My flight arrived 2 ½ hours late.

1 comment:

Nathaniel @ project management course said...

Your meeting is a great idea, seeing each other in order to plan well your desired project. I approve to that because communication is one of the keys to a successful project.

It's great that you are sharing with your readers what you did with them, it sure gives us ideas on how to deal with our team too.
Thanks for the post!