Helping a Merger Succeed
Two large Energy companies had recently merged. They saw the need to implement Project and Portfolio Management across the entire organization to optimize their investments. They started with their Nuclear Power plants.
Working with the business team, we set up a system that allowed leaders to see key project and investment information from all plants in one database. We established a streamlined process for budget approval and set up their Project Prioritization model. Because each plant had been running as independent businesses, the managers were resistant to this new visibility, higher level governance for projects and interference in their way of doing business. To manage resistance from the plant managers, we developed a Change Management plan to deal with their concerns and help them see the value of the new system. The plant benefit message: the plants could use synergy to improve operations through economies of scale, shared information, improved planning and sound investment decisions. This message resonated with the plant managers, leading them to buy-in and support the changes.
The project was a great success. It allowed improved coordination of the plants as they could each learn a great deal from the experiences of the other plants. We calculated ROI at 3 million in the first year. Our customer was able to establish this as a best practice in their industry.
Fixing a Failing PMO
In a large software company on the verge of a merger, many projects were failing, not meeting budget or deadline or being stopped before completion. The organization was going through tremendous change – change saturation. Morale and productivity were low. People were resistant to changes and not willing to use some of the new technologies being implemented.
The business needed a formal PMO and Organizational Change Management Practice. Working with the business, we built the processes, tools, training and Centers of Excellence (CoE) for both Project Management and Change Management. We worked to lead the organization through the significant culture change required when bringing Organizational Change Management to the company. We provided Project Management and OCM training and met with Senior leaders to develop good sponsorship. To support the PMO, we implemented MS Project Server and we built a standard system integration project plan template including OCM tasks.
Over the course of the project, the organization grew in their ability to lead and adopt to change. The business was becoming agile and change ready. People learned how to work through changes. The changes put in place brought about improved project success rate and increased productivity. The organization built change management methodology into their consulting services to ensure project success for their customers.
Turning Around of a Failing Division
Soon after I started working in a division of a large company, I found that the division was under threat of shutting down as it was not profitable. We had the opportunity for a contract with an external customer to provide $10 million worth of equipment over several years. The major issues with this project were: late start, lack of sufficient resources and lack of sufficient expertise regarding some areas of the build. We pulled together our best resources and motivated them to turn things around to keep the division from closing. We built a good relationship with the customer by involving him as part of the team. I included the vendors as part of the team and negotiated quick turn around on orders as they were promised future business for this equipment. The project was a great success which saved the division from shut down with the increased future sales forecast.
Achieving Strategy by Tying Goals to Project Funding
A Healthcare company had an excellent strategic plan but was not meeting their strategic goals. The root cause problem was failure to complete strategic projects successfully. Currently all personnel could request projects and the project would be placed in the queue for resourcing. Resources were moved around to try and accommodate the very heavy workload, which could result in project failure of the more valuable projects.
Working with the leaders of the organization, we developed an optimized Project Portfolio Management process based on their business needs and requirements. I facilitated design of a strategic scoring method for project prioritization to ensure that the decision makers could easily see which investments would provide the greatest contribution to their strategic goals and maximize ROI. The prioritization, along with improved and automated resource management ensured that the most valuable projects were sourced properly and were scheduled according to their strategic value. We automated and streamlined processes across the Project Lifecycle and implemented new software.
The business saw great value in the new processes and systems. They could clearly see improvement in project success and the most valuable projects were properly resourced and prioritized. Strategic goals were now strongly tied to projects being prioritized and funded so that the company was accomplishing its strategy.
Starting Up and Bringing in Business Quickly
To grow their revenue, a large consulting firm wanted to offer new consulting services. At the time, Portfolio Management was a growing discipline. The consulting firm brought me in to establish this consulting practice and bring in new business. I hired and trained staff, developed our consulting methodology, negotiated consulting contracts, worked with Business Development to bring in business and establish our presence in the market. Within the first week, I helped secure a $1,000,000+ contract with a multi-year extension option. This extended after major success in the first year.
Satisfying customers when they don’t agree on requirements
I was contracted to a major IT company to provide an IT/ Business solution to a branch of the military. My contractor didn’t warn me that several consultants had been sent out to work with the client and the client had never been happy about the results! The IT stakeholder and Business stakeholder had differing views on requirements for the project. Neither of these views matched the statement of work supplied by my contractor. I talked individually with the IT Lead and the business client to understand their requirements. I determined a way to provide all requirements and completed the project with happy clients!