Friday, November 24, 2006

Week 12 (Building a Program Management Office)

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate the event. The holiday made it a short week for me and a welcome one at that. The big event this week was the November governance board meeting. This is a typical board meeting for a program, we start with a presentation and the board members ask questions about the information, we talk about current status, upcoming milestones, issues and the like. This month’s went very well and I contribute that to two factors. The first, I was prepared. I put together a good presentation, I reviewed all the information, I had all the raw data and reports and so on. One thing I am learning, at least in this particular program, preparation is key! The second reason I think things went well is that hardly anyone showed up – lots of people on Thanksgiving vacation – for which I am thankful!

The two hour meeting lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. We had good conversations and discussions. Both projects have made marked improvements over the past two weeks and I think the teams are much more confident and optimistic. That is really half the battle sometimes. At this point, we have a fair handle on performance against milestones and schedule, change control, scope and issues. Not so hot yet on risks, resources, financial performance and a few other areas, but working on it. Since only one department even records time and cost to the project, we are not going to achieve more than a fairly low level of control and information in those areas.

The good news for this week is that we have a project manager starting in one of our locations to help with the project work. Our one office is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of PM work, and it is not getting the attention that it needs. Our new PM will start off with some more administrative and analysis work, but I expect that they will have much more responsibility very quickly. I really look forward to this as I am hoping that it will free some of my time as well so that I can spend more on putting together a PMO guidelines that can be used for all projects of this time. If the company is going to get in this business, then having a method/standard of operations for implementation will be very useful!

Well off to run a few of those new found pounds off. I think 20 miles will do the trick – that would be…. Unlikely . There’s still some apple pie in the fridge…mmmmm

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