Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) is beneficial to manage projects within portfolio. This case study provide an understanding of the PMO creation steps, how PMI ® PMBOK ® Guide best practices could improve organizations performance, and how international organizations implement such approaches.
Comau vice – president of contract and project management took the right decision in the right time. Due to the rapped extension and success of Comau organization, which provide automotive and aerospace services since the 1980s, the vice president established the Contract & Project Management corporate function in 2007 due to lack of corporate standards. Accordingly, the company provided the business solution mechanism managed by PMO based on the PMBOK ® Guide. As a result, Comau Company succeeded to improve the return on investment (ROI), cash flow, and profitability. In addition, they became a PMI ® REP ® — Registered Education Provider. (Kerzner, 2010, pp 121-130)
Comau project portfolio management:
The mission of Comau Corporate Portfolio Management is challenging. The portfolio is managing the project management procedures and organization policies, Corporate PMO which has four regional below (PMO North America, PMO South America, PMO Europe, and PMO Asia), and Comau PM academy. However, the organizing had a clear understanding of the project management benefits, implementation processes, and business strategy. They needed to align the global organization policies to the project management, establish a project management offices, and create project management academy to serve continues learning and soft skills. The company approached three guidelines to achieve their goals as per the following:
Develop and implement the organization policies:
The way Comau thought about developing and implementing the organization polices is impressive. They followed PMI ® PMBOK ® Guide best practices, trained the employees on how to perform such techniques, described the job role of the projects teams, and monitored the progress against predefined benchmarks.
Establish and support the project management office:
The Comau PMO began with an effective road map to gradually achieve its goals in 3 years. The missions of the Comau PMO among the four regional in 30 countries is as per the following:
Manage Portfolio globally
Implement Project management procedures as per PMI standers.
- Manage the Comau PM Academy
Since the contract management and project management were combined in the organization polices, the PMO was able to provide a contractual guidance to the projects during the execution.
manage the multinational projects
Comau Company is involved in multinational projects, in which the prioritizing and selecting of projects by the portfolio need to be performed. Therefore I would recommend the PMO to be involved in this rule as recommended by Rothman, (2009, p72).
Create project management academy:
It was very smart from Cmaue Company to create a project management academy. I refer to Project Management Institute., (2013, p7) statement “An organization measures its capabilities, then plans and implements improvements towards the systematic achievement of best practices.” In order to maintain the successes, continues improvement of the organization employees is highly recommended. Creating such source of training helped the project team to globalize the work processes, way of thinking, and made everyone talking the same language, which increase the efficiency of the communication between project team, and PMOs. Furthermore, by creating the academy, the Cmaue Company succeeded to became PMI ® REP ® — Registered Education Provider, which encouraged more than 15% of the project managers to become PMP certified.
In my opinion, creating the PM academy is much important as establishing of the PMO itself. It is essential when the organization creates a system to ensure that the employees can understand the system and apply it effectively. Otherwise, it is like having a racing car with someone who cannot drive. To perform a portfolio management, we need the system, and professionals who can apply this system.
Cmaue succeeded to create a well-organized company based on project management best practices and PMI guidelines. By developing effective organization policies, management training academy, and PMO to manage all of this, the company effectively managed its projects, satisfied the clients with high quality products, and increased the profits by reducing the costs and enhancing the ROI. As a result of success, the company documented the lesson learned and converted them to best practices, which represent a great value to the organization future evaluation, and strategic decisions.
One missing action I did not see clearly in the case study that could improve the overall performance is the prioritizing, and selection of the projects. Morris, P. & Jamieson, H., (2004, pp 51-52) mentioned the rule of portfolio management on Prioritize projects based on the potential value, and prioritize which projects to start first. Therefore, I would recommend clearly defining the project selection criteria in the organization policies, and assigning this rule to Comau PMO.
Kerzner, H. (2010) Project management best practices :achieving global excellence. 2nd Edition. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. pp.684.
Morris, P. & Jamieson, H. (2004) Translating corporate strategy into project strategy. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
Project Management Institute.,. (2013) A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide). Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, Inc.
Rothman, J. (2009) Manage your project portfolio :increase your capacity and finish more projects. Raleigh, N.C.: Pragmatic Bookshelf. pp.181.
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