Case Study: Building Revenue

24.06.2011 0

Challenge:

An architectural hardware manufacturer and supplier had a branch location suffering from lack of revenue. New management had taken over the business and wanted to grow profitability in its Western Canada locations.

This 30 year old company was experiencing big problems with their Surrey, BC location. They were the lowest-performing branch in the company. Project delivery was inconsistent. They were not meeting project budgets, and demonstrated poor management of time and resources. The reputation of the company was suffering.

 

Approach:

I was brought in to identify the problems, design an approach, and implement new procedures where needed in order to turn business around.

I began by spending time in each of the employee roles to gain a solid understanding of how each group did their job. In many instances roles were not clearly identified and procedure and process were lacking. From the shop floor, to the project estimators, to inventory management – I ensured that I developed thorough knowledge of how each role currently functioned to identify the gaps.  I also managed several projects which helped to determine what type of tools and procedures would best benefit the business.

 

Solution:

I developed several processes that ensured accuracy, efficiency and maximum potential profitability. Implementing a PMO helped entrench these procedures and oversaw training for project staff.   I navigated a number of personalities, involving key team members to implement new processes to all staff for the location.

I put structure to the roles and tasks and coached employees and managers to function well within their jobs.  I championed a change management team and supported and trained change leaders where needed.  When implementing any new procedures, we assed opperational readiness before we transitioned. Formalizing a project change control process also brought success.

Within the first year, this under performing, money-losing branch turned a $50K profit. Employees were more satisfied in their clearly defined jobs, and the management team was extremely satisfied with the new direction for the location.

 

 

Organizational Benefits of a PMO

21.06.2011 0

I have had the opportunity of building two Project Management Offices (PMO’s) and each one has been different but kind of the same.  The similarities lie in the consistency, rigour, communication structure, tools and actions needed to support basic business operation and the delivery of projects.  The differences focused on what was needed for the organization.  The maturity of the organization dictated the development of the PMO.

Organizational maturity really makes the difference when one attempts to put structure together for a company.  There are questions and cultural issues that must addressed before any PMO initiative can grow legs.   For example – just the basic understanding of how project management can impact he health and growth of the business is an important consideration before any process or infrastructure can be considered.  If the company doesn’t understand what the profession of project management does, how it can improve operations, and why it drives customer satisfaction, then the road to PMO development is a long one.

If the company understands the need for governance, support for building a PMO can be an natural evolution.  For example – using consistent process becomes the organizational strategy for crafting solutions for the company’s customers.   Business Development and Operations are now working hand in hand to ensure that customer expectations are crafted right from the start.  This is one of the major benefits of building a PMO for the organization.  The company shifts and becomes solutions focused.

Another major benefit is the application of consistent process for project decisions.  Risks are routinely categorized and responses are formalized so that both positive and negative risks can be either mitigated or capitalized.  The organization’s management team decisions are now supported by the transparency provided by the consistent process of the PMO.  Project decisions are smoother – improving project execution.

The processes of the PMO often augment change management.  Having systems in place, dealing with risks, applying decision making tools, are all natural extensions for what the PMO can bring to the discipline of managing change.  If the company is about to embark on new directions or wishes to implement new strategies, having the PMO shepherd the process can really lessen the impact to the organization and its staff.