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PMO and Assurance: Skills Funding Agency

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Presentation by Gary Perkins and Caitlin Davidson, at the APM PMO SIG conference Assurance and its relationship with the PMO on 5th March 2014.

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PMO and Assurance: Skills Funding Agency

  1. 1. PMO & Assurance Wednesday 5 March 2014 Presented by: Gary Perkins & Caitlin Davidson Welcome
  2. 2. Introduction & Agenda
  3. 3. Introduction Caitlin Davidson: PMO PSO Manager Gary Perkins: PMO Assurance Manager
  4. 4. Agenda ● Background ● PMO Function ● Assurance Approach ● Challenges (Existing and New) ● Discussion and Questions
  5. 5. Background
  6. 6. Skills Funding Agency ● Established in 2009 following the demise of the Learning & Skills Council, and prior to that the Further Education Funding Council; ● Partner organisation of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS); ● Agency role is to fund and promote adult further education (FE) and skills training in England, including Traineeships and Apprenticeships, in a way that supports economic growth.
  7. 7. Skills Funding Agency ● Deliver £4.1 billion of skills training through contracts with over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers; ● Within the Skills Funding Agency, there are two customer-facing services: National Apprenticeship Service, and; National Careers Service; ● Host the Information Authority.
  8. 8. Programme Delivery ● Responsible for delivery of IT Programmes and Projects within the Skills Funding Agency; ● Annual delivery value circa £60M; ● Typically around 6 Programmes and 30 Projects at any point in time; ● Internal team circa 90; ● Main development supplier Capgemini.
  9. 9. Programme Delivery ● Increasingly delivering sector-wide public-facing systems
  10. 10. Programme Management Office ● PMO Team comprises 8 in the Central PMO function which delivers: Portfolio Management Programme & Project Management QMS Guidance & Training Assurance Central Support Functions ● Typically 15 Project Support Officers who are embedded within Programmes & Projects; ● This is NOT a corporate function within the Agency.
  11. 11. PMO Function
  12. 12. PMO Functions ● Portfolio Management; ● Developing and Maintaining our Quality Management System; ● Training & Support; ● Assurance; ● Central Support Function; ● Programme and Project Support.
  13. 13. Portfolio Management ● Manages portfolio of Programmes and Projects; ● Manages ICT Moratorium Process; ● Ensures the strategic alignment of Projects; ● Supports business case development; ● Services Corporate Governance Boards.
  14. 14. Quality Management System ● Based on MSP and PRINCE2; ● Guidance, templates and checklists; ● Reviewed on an annual cycle; ● Amended to reflect „learning from experience‟; ● Branded as the „Programme Delivery Governance Framework‟; ● Available from the Programme Delivery PMO Knowledge Store Teamsite.
  15. 15. Quality Management System
  16. 16. Templates
  17. 17. Guidance
  18. 18. Best Practice
  19. 19. Delivery Models
  20. 20. Delivery Models
  21. 21. Checklists
  22. 22. Training & Support ● Drop-in sessions and mentoring; ● Briefings and Masterclasses; ● Information Notes and Newsletters; ● Available to Programme and Project Managers; ● Available to SROs and Project Executives.
  23. 23. Assurance ● Focus on Governance and Controls; ● Varied range of approaches; ● Internal team of 3 supplemented by additional resource as required; ● Internal Assurance for Director of Programme Delivery; ● Increasingly External Assurance for SROs; ● Assurance Function subject to bi-annual Internal Audit, reviewing standards and application.
  24. 24. Central Support Functions ● Consolidating Programme and Project information; ● Supporting Corporate Governance Boards; ● Supporting the financial investment process; ● Managing and supporting the new Programme & Project Management Tool.
  25. 25. Programme and Project Support ● Project Support Officers (PSOs); ● Centrally managed service; ● Flexible supply chain; ● Standard approach; ● Supporting the Assurance function.
  26. 26. Assurance Approach
  27. 27. Internal Assurance ● For Director of Programme Delivery; ● Focus on assuring that standards defined in the Programme Delivery PMO QMS are applied; ● Greater reliance on process driven assurance: Gated Reviews Monthly Operational Reviews Checklists. ● Healthchecks and Post-Project Reviews; ● Supported by embedded PSOs.
  28. 28. External Assurance ● Increasingly working more closely with SROs; ● Raising the Profile of the SRO Role; ● SRO Support Initiative. This includes: Initial Briefings Training (APM PPM Sponsorship) Established Network SRO Guidance & Support Teamsite Regular Newsletter; „SRO Brief‟. ● Offering Independent Assurance directly to SROs; ● Formal Executive Sponsorship.
  29. 29. Role of the SRO and Governance is Currently a Hot Topic
  30. 30. SRO Guidance & Support
  31. 31. External Assurance ● Starting to utilise the MPA Integrated Assurance and Approvals (IAA) approach; ● Developing IAA Strategies & Plans for all major Programme Delivery Programmes; ● Developing Assurance Statements for minor Programme Delivery Programmes. .
  32. 32. External Assurance ● Fully engage with MPA OGC Gateway Review process via BIS Departmental Assurance Co-ordinator; ● RPAs completed and returned for EVERY Programme and Project within the Programme Delivery Portfolio; ● 45 OGC Gateway Reviews conducted in last 5 years; ● Approach now welcomed and trusted by (most) SROs.
  33. 33. External Assurance ● Independent Programme and Project Healthchecks conducted by: PMO Assurance Team Broader Programme Delivery Team Independent Contractors Atkins – PMO Supply Partner; ● Governance Board Reviews and Assessments; ● Process Spot-checks (internal and external).
  34. 34. Challenges
  35. 35. As Johnny Nash observed……. There are More Questions than Answers
  36. 36. Existing Challenges ● ● Not a Corporate PMO; ● Lack of separation between Guidance & Support and Assurance roles; ● Lack of clarity around escalation of issues; ● Conflict of interest when working with SROs; ● Credibility and independence.
  37. 37. It can sometimes feel like this……… …….though we have made progress.
  38. 38. New Challenges Organisational Restructure ● ● Reducing headcount from 1,357 to 925; ● Significant changes to organisation structure; ● Loss of many experienced staff; ● Uncertainty about the new role, scale and location of the PMO moving forward.
  39. 39. New Challenges Changing Supplier Model ● ● ● Currently one tier 1 supplier (Capgemini); box once read: Delete this • This is a “general” slide • Each “page title” should have Currently re-letting this contract for October 2014; as the the same colour scheme preceding “section divider” slide • Use “promote” and “demote” buttons to automatically change In line with Government policy, multiple contracts will text levels be let to SMEs; • Go Format > Slide Layout to choose another auto layout ● Moving towards cloud based hosting; ● Significant implications for PMO functions.
  40. 40. New Challenges Changing Development Approaches Delete this box once read: • This is a “general” slide • Each “page title” should have the same colour scheme as the preceding “section divider” Government Digital slide • Use “promote” and “demote” buttons to automatically change text levels • Go Format > Slide Layout to choose another auto layout ● Currently largely Waterfall; ● Move towards Agile in line with Strategy; ● Currently developing skills within Programme Delivery and the Agency; ● What is the impact on the PMO and Assurance?
  41. 41. Discussion & Questions
  42. 42. ● Benefits of a PMO in supporting organisational change? ● Impact of multi-supplier model on a PMO? ● What does Agile mean to a PMO?

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