The Chief Project Officer And How One Can Benefit Your Organization


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  • Hi Ed, I am writing a paper for a class at Middle Tennessee State University and would love to use your slide share as a source. Do you mind my paraphrasing some of these ideas, while giving you proper credit? Thanks! (Note this is just for a course and will not be distributed in any formal manner, only as a source for a grade) William Ledbetter
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The Chief Project Officer And How One Can Benefit Your Organization

  1. 1. The Chief Project Officer and How One Can Benefit Your Organization Ed Kozak •The term Chief Project Officer, or make sure that every project supports the right business goals;CPO, might not be commonly known in • require that every project have anmany industries but it is a term that effective manager or leader inmany organizations should commit to charge;memory. A CPO is a single individual • implement and maintain anat the Senior Management level who is appropriate PM methodology;responsible for providing governance • rigorously and formally manageover the organization’s internal projects. changes to project scope, budget, schedule, and requirements; • group similar projects to manageWhy Project Governance Is Needed them in a similar manner; andAt the Senior Management Level • implement, lead and coordinate project portfolio management.Successful organizations in manyindustries have discovered, albeit, after- Many have tried to achieve thisthe-fact for some, that they need to governance in the past by creating aenhance the communication between project management office, or PMO, atManagement and their project teams. their sites. Unfortunately for manyThis need for governance at a senior organizations, this costly endeavor haslevel has grown out of necessity to not been successful, providing limited,ensure that project teams and internal or no, value. The reason is easy toinvestment capital is used strategically. explain. A PMO is not for everyOnly someone at the senior level has the organization and few organizations haveauthority and wherewithal to link performed due diligence on the PMO toprojects with strategic goals and to reach determine whether it was suitable forhorizontally across departments to them, or whether they were suitable for areview expenditures and schedules, to PMO. Instead, many saw the benefitsregulate resource utilization, and to that PMOs provided to others—cancel projects that no longer are in oftentimes lauded in financial oralignment with strategic objectives. This management journals—and decided thatrepresentation must be able to perform they must implement the same, withoutthe following tasks: giving careful examination to what exactly they wanted to achieve. • link all projects to strategic and operational business plans; Gerald Kendall and Steven Rollins, in their book Advanced ProjectThe Chief Project Officer and How One Can Benefit Your Organization 1© Successful Projects For Leaders. No portion of this document may be copied or distributed withoutthe expressed written consent of the author.
  2. 2. Management and the PMO: Multiplying should relieve them of some of theROI At Warp Speed, cite specific reasons responsibilities that they deem to bewhy PMOs fail. These are: overly-bureaucratic or tedious, like planning, documentation, and • The PMO did not define its monitoring and control—something that value proposition. PMOs should should never be taken out of the project strive to demonstrate tangible manager’s hands to perform. So, value in the first three months in whether it be from internal pressure or terms of improving project from a willingness to try to capture the delivery speed. gains other organizations have, many • The PMO is not perceived as organizations jumped on the business impacting project delivery process reengineering bandwagon and abilities created PMOs, only to realize that • The PMO is seen as a threat — they’re not getting much value from most often too authoritative them and that support for the PMO is • The PMO is too low in the waning. management reporting structure The ultimate question that the successful • The PMO does not have buy-in organization must ask is “Does it make from the senior functional sense?” Does it make sense to create a managers department and departmental org • Project Management Overhead structure, complete with possible layers — the bad PMO acronym of management and administrative help, to improve the way projects are • The PMO is micromanaging — conducted and sustain that level of trying to control every project improvement? There are certainly directly legitimate reasons for an organization to have project governance at the seniorFurthermore, they state that, contrary to level:one of the reasons why organizationsoriginally justified the creation of aPMO, a PMO should not bear the • The organization is highly-responsibility of project planning, fragmented and functional inscheduling, risk identification & nature, with difficultymanagement, and monitoring & control. coordinating all the teamToo often, individual project managers activities.feel that a PMO is needed at their • There is a lack of any connectionrespective organizations and lobby for between Management andthe creation of one. On one hand, it project groups along with noprovides them with an entity structured, consistent andknowledgeable about project meaningful flow of informationmanagement that has the ability to make between these two groups.timely decisions that they feel is above • Individual project teamstheir station. However, many project identifying and desiring projectsmanagers incorrectly also feel that it related to their segments.The Chief Project Officer and How One Can Benefit Your Organization 2© Successful Projects For Leaders. No portion of this document may be copied or distributed withoutthe expressed written consent of the author.
  3. 3. • Senior management is not able to it would be suitable, whether a start-up properly prioritize the collective or mature. initiatives. • Historically, projects have not For the start-up looking to launch its first been aligned with strategic product, add to or enhance its existing objectives to ensure that projects product line, or increase its market are contributing to growth, penetration, having a CPO on staff competitive advantage, revenue, makes perfect sense. The responsibility cash flow, or other objectives of of the CPO would be to see that product the organization. development schedules are met. • There is a lack of full-time Consider the huge opportunity costs for oversight for and across all the company if there were delays in projects that includes monitoring getting the product to market. There is against established criteria and also a tendency for many organizations advising Management of status to add to or change the scope of their and issues that would affect the projects mid-stream, to add more and planned benefits of projects. more functionality or expand the scope • There is a need to ensure that of ongoing developments. Although standards are established, well-intentioned, the delays and rework communicated, and enforced on costs can severely impact the project and an enterprise-wide basis so that the organization. A CPO is very project governance can be valuable in these cases by creating a conducted relative to strategic formal change control policy and leading goals. a change control board, objectively • There has been a failure of regulating which changes are made and management to establish cross- which ones are tabled. I’ve attended departmental coordination many a panel discussion given by toward goals for products, venture capitalists and in every single services, and customers. one of these a VC will state that “they would rather fund a B idea with an AHowever, there must be some middle team than an A idea with a B team.” Aground in-between having no CPO on the team can help achieve orgovernance and having a bureaucratic maintain that A status.entity suck up overhead dollars whileproviding no value. Mature companies must also evaluate whether they’re suitable or not for a PMO or simply to have someone on staffBehold the Chief Project Officer as a CPO. An assessment must be made on the number of projects conducted byOne of the best things about having a a company within a given year and theCPO position is its versatility. This is nature of those projects. If so manysomething that can and should be projects are being conducted that theyinstituted by all organizations for which become a hindrance to each other and it creates a scenario that’s far too complex for one person at the organization toThe Chief Project Officer and How One Can Benefit Your Organization 3© Successful Projects For Leaders. No portion of this document may be copied or distributed withoutthe expressed written consent of the author.
  4. 4. properly be debriefed on, ensure that no better; increase their success at hittingresource conflicts occur, and provide budget estimates; improve quality andsenior-level governance, then satisfaction; and recognize theestablishing a PMO certainly makes substantial financial benefits that comesense. If not, then it is overkill and the along with that.CPO makes more sense. Second, Successful Projects For Leaders is hired as project turnaround expertsProject Management Offices (PMOs) and is brought in on critical projects that are in the midst of schedule, budget,aren’t suitable for every company andnot every company is suitable for a and/or quality issues or projects that arePMO. A less-expensive, more flexible, having continual setbacks. They analyzemore-agile, and more-suitable solution the problems, set a new budget andfor many organizations is to have a schedule, and work with the incumbentsingle person on the Senior Management project management team to bring themTeam, the Chief Project Officer (CPO), to responsible for project governanceand to ensure that the right kind of A third benefit that Successful Projectsinformation is flowing to the rest of that For Leaders offers is their availability toteam. Only the success of its projects be out-sourced by Organizations to servecan truly guarantee the success of a as the Chief Projects Officer. In thiscompany. role, Successful Projects For Leaders only develops standards and practices directed at the effective execution ofAbout the Author projects and the attainment of schedule, cost, scope, and quality objectives, butEd Kozak, M.S., M.B.A., PMP is the also communicates enterprise-levelPresident and CEO of Successful objectives to the respective projectProjects For Leaders, international groups in the most-appropriate way forexperts in project management process them to follow and communicatesimprovement. The staff of Successful project information to Management.Projects For Leaders work with This overcomes the problem common tocompanies along three main points of many organizations that no connectionfocus. First, they help companies between Operations and project groupsimprove their profitability by cutting exists and no structured, consistent, andwasteful project costs (upwards to 50% meaningful flow of information betweenor more) and improve their overall these two groups occurs, allowingmanagement of projects in order to Management to determine if efforts arereduce risk, schedule slippage, and efficient and effective, if projects areunnecessary spending on product still the best ones to support strategicrework. As a result their clients are able objectives, whether there areto exert more control over their projects; performance issues associated withimprove target schedule performance; meeting objectives.monitor and control cost performanceThe Chief Project Officer and How One Can Benefit Your Organization 4© Successful Projects For Leaders. No portion of this document may be copied or distributed withoutthe expressed written consent of the author.
  5. 5. Ed is an accomplished professional withhas over twenty-three years experienceas a consultant, manager, executive,facilitator, and instructor that includesproject/program manager experience inthe private and Government sectorsmanaging multi-year, multi-milliondollar programs for his clients in fieldssuch as IT, healthcare, research,development, and manufacturing. Hebrings his expertise to managementteams in strategic planning, process re-engineering, program managementoffices, and project management and is afrequent conference speaker.The Chief Project Officer and How One Can Benefit Your Organization 5© Successful Projects For Leaders. No portion of this document may be copied or distributed withoutthe expressed written consent of the author.