1. What can you determine about the corporate culture from the fact that they waited this long to consider the development of an EPM system?
It is clear from the description that the company has been a vertical organization so far. So far, there are units that are managed by managers who would like to continue to maintain the reporting structure and power. Should a formal project management office be put in place, they are clearly afraid to lose power and control over their reports. The executive team is not very far-sighted. For the company to continue to be profitable in a competitive environment, they need to adopt and change and accept the importance of project management and reorganize their structure to adapt to accommodate the EPM system
2. Can a PMO accelerate the implementation process?
Yes a PMO will accelerate the development and implementation of an EPM system. The PMO which is comprised of a handful of experienced project managers are expected to take the lead in the development of a methodology. The PMO establishes the guidelines and a broad structure for all project managers and the teams. The PMO will establish templates, forms and processes that will provide a framework for all project managers to execute the projects. Uniformity in the process of execution will definitely accelerate the implementation process.
3. Is it acceptable for the PMO to report to the chief information officer or to someone else? Yes it is acceptable that the PMO reports to the chief information officer. The PMO is comprised of experienced project managers who will be leading project and projects team that comprise of personnel from all departments. For the flow of the projects to function, it is important that PMO is managed by the C-level management who are able to remove all hindrances and make executive decisions for the project management teams.
4. Why is it best to have six or less life-cycle phases in an EPM system? Good project management or Enterprise project management does not usually have more than six gates because having too many gates will force the team to focus on preparing for the gate reviews rather than on the actual management of the project. It would prove to be a waste of time.
5. Is it best to design an EPM system around flexible or inflexible elements? Generally, when first developing an EPM system, do companies prefer to use formality or informality in the design? It is best to design an EPM system around flexible elements that are based on guidelines and recommendations. It is best to use checklists and periodic review points. When EPM was first implemented most companies preferred to use a formal design with a lot of paperwork. However nowadays companies are managing projects more informally than before.
Despite the fact that project management is informal, it does have some degree of formality. Typically projects are now managed with a minimum amount of paperwork. As companies become reasonably mature in project management, the policies and procedures of formal project management have been replaced by forms, guidelines, templates, and checklists. Informal project management, based upon guidelines rather than the policies and procedures has been shown previously to be a characteristic of a good project management methodology.
6. Should an EPM system have the capability of capturing best practices? Absolutely an EPM system should have the capability of capturing best practices. In today’s world project management is one of the key activities of our business. Infact we are managing our business by projects. Project managers are making project decisions as well as business decisions. Therefore an EPM system must capture not only project-related best practices and business best practices as well. This gets placed in a project management best practices library and works towards building a knowledge repository that includes both project management and business-related best practices.