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Case study - 10 lessons from setting up a portfolio management office


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Our first case study was presented by Tim Warren and Emily Hall-Strutt. Tim works for BMT Hi-Q Sigma and Emily for the Government’s Valuation Office Agency. Tim and Emily’s presentation outlined 10 lessons from setting up a portfolio management office, (PfMO).

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Case study - 10 lessons from setting up a portfolio management office

  1. 1. South Wales and South West of England Branch Thursday 26th February 2015 Emily Hall-Strutt and Tim Warren 10 Lessons in Setting Up a Portfolio Office
  2. 2. Agenda  Introductions  Scene Setting  10 lessons of setting up Portfolio Office  Questions
  3. 3. Introductions  Emily – Civil Service Fast Streamer - Policy (DCLG) - Agile project management (OPG) - portfolio management (VOA)  Tim – Management Consultant - P3M and P3O in Defence, Transport, Energy and Government - Portfolio Manager
  4. 4. Questions Q – Who here works in a Portfolio Office? Q – Who currently reports into a Portfolio Office? Q – What does a Portfolio Office do? Q – Does every organisation need a Portfolio Office?
  5. 5. Misconceptions  A Portfolio Office is another layer of management  It’s duplication of a programme management office  It’s a promotion route for programme management
  6. 6. Key Points  A Portfolio Office is an internal assurance platform  It allows the Board/Executive Team to make informed decisions on programme and project prioritisation and where to best invest capital and resource. Boards can focus on strategy  It allows programmes and projects to concentrate on delivery  Champion P3M and P3O good practice
  7. 7. Management of Portfolios (MoP)  Programme and project management offices are temporary structures set up to support a specific change initiative. Portfolio Offices are usually permanent and integrated into the organisational governance structure.  Portfolio Office ensure that programme and projects remain strategically aligned, co-ordinating delivery at a collective level and monitoring benefits realisation.  Portfolio Offices report directly to the Management Board. Management of Portfolios (MoP) 2011.
  8. 8. 10 lessons in setting up a Portfolio Office
  9. 9. Secure senior management buy-in  Executive Sponsor  Involve the Sponsor in recommendations  Involve senior management (the Board) in designing a transition plan 1
  10. 10. Engage your stakeholders  Identify your stakeholders at all levels  Determine which will be most influential  Plan how best to engage with them  Keep them involved as much as possible in changes 2
  11. 11. Design for steady state  Transition plan from current ‘as is’ towards ‘to be’  Transparency  Manage as a Project - Stakeholders - Delivery plan - Risks - Resources required - Understand the requirement of a Portfolio Office 3
  12. 12. Understand the capability within your organisation  Determine the membership of your PPM community  Understand the culture of the organisation  Undertake work to understand the capability there  Design the transition plan with that in mind but include upskilling 4
  13. 13. Delegate decision-making authority  The Board MUST delegate decision making authority to Programme and Project Management  Failure to delegate creates low morale  Set tolerances and thresholds - Capital and operational spend - Project initiation  “Bottle necks are always at the top of a bottle” Dr. Norma Wood, ex MPA DG 5
  14. 14. Don’t be afraid to pause, stop or say ‘no’  Categorise and prioritise the portfolio with the Board  Understand where money is allocated and where it is being spent  Encourage and enable the Board to make tough decisions when necessary 6
  15. 15. Ensure one decision making body  Avoid decisions being made in multiple committee meetings  Appoint one body (Board) to make all portfolio decisions  This creates coherence and enables better investment decisions 7
  16. 16. Maintain focus on delivery  Portfolio categorisation and prioritisation – Mandatory and Legal – Critical to strategy – Critical to mitigate risk – Keeping the lights on – Enabling – Discretionary  Allow programme and project managers to deliver 8
  17. 17. Enable the Board to make strategic decisions  Link back to Lesson 5 - Delegate decision making authority  The Board needs to set and maintain focus on strategy  Be firm with the Board – show them what they need to KNOW not what they think they need to SEE. 9
  18. 18. Principles focussed on coherence, resilience and realism  The Portfolio is the platform for coherence and consistency across all the change initiatives in the organisation. - Overview of all programmes and projects - Bridge the gaps caused by stove-pipe organisations - One source of truth - Head of Profession 10
  19. 19.  Resilience - Structured governance and portfolio management processes - Clearly defined roles & responsibilities and accountabilities Principles focussed on coherence, resilience and realism 10
  20. 20.  Realism - Simplify - Tailor - Use a maturity model to grow - Set expectations early - Changing a culture takes time! Principles focussed on coherence, resilience and realism 10
  21. 21. 10 Lessons 1. Secure senior management buy-in 2. Engage your stakeholders 3. Design for steady state, recognising a need for an implementation plan 4. Understand the capability within your organisation 5. Delegate decision-making authority 6. Don’t be afraid to pause, stop or say ‘no’ 7. Ensure there is only one decision making body 8. Maintain focus on delivery 9. Enable the Board to make strategic decisions 10. Principles focussed on coherence, resilience and realism
  22. 22. Thank you! Tim Warren Principal Consultant BMT Hi-Q Sigma Ltd email: Mob: 07834 254291 LinkedIn: warren/11/96a/986 Emily Hall-Strutt Civil Service Fast Stream email: Mob: 075215 01019 LinkedIn: strutt/96/853/395/en