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The Practice of planning and the PMO, John Barben

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presentation at the PMO SIG event on 26th June 2013

Published in: Business, Technology
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The Practice of planning and the PMO, John Barben

  1. 1. The practice of planning and the PMO 26th June 2013 John Barben exsto portfolio services supporting
  2. 2. Practice vs process • There are 8 white and 5 black keys on a piano – from which you can play all music – if you practice • Mastery of any practical skill takes 10,000 hours – that’s 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, for nearly 10 years
  3. 3. Have you heard a good story? • Plans are stories • Good stories have a structure • You can teach people how to tell good stories
  4. 4. Plans are stories • Stories convey meaning and purpose • Listeners want to believe in stories • Stories need to be pitched at the right level for the audience
  5. 5. Project genre reflects planning practice VOLATILE STATIC COMPLICATED / KNOWN COMPLEX / UNKNOWN Long term detailed plans Planning horizon > 2 years Estimates of duration and resource based on experience e.g. VSEL Detailed plan for short term Operational horizon < 6 months Aspirational plan for longer term Planning horizon > 2 years e.g. DLR resignalling “Agile” iterations contained within short duration project stages A mix of “service” and “agile” to increase proportion of certainty e.g. large software development Detailed planning with a high degree of risk management – supplier risk Use of 3PE and Monte Carlo e.g. MoD CADMID
  6. 6. Scheduling - different strokes ANSI 748 32 EV Guidelines • WBS • Integrate Subsystems • Schedule work • Time-phased budget • Limit LoE • Maintain the baseline • Assign responsibility at Cost Account level • Calculate performance, forecast and establish variance • Manager Action Plans GAO Schedule Assessment Guide • WBS • Integrated Master Schedule • Critical path and complete schedules • Short activities, joined by critical path, accurate durations • Schedule risk analysis (Monte Carlo) • Rigorous rules for progressing a schedule • Maintain a baseline PRINCE2 • Product Breakdown Structure and Product Flow Diagrams • Activities, dependencies and estimates • Establishing a budget • Project, Stage, Team plans • Stage management • Exception plans • Project closure • Business Case
  7. 7. What has the PMO ever done for us? • “...but apart from the reporting service, the centralised training, the process documentation, the assurance, document control, common approaches to planning and resourcing, baseline configuration control, estimating norms, independent baseline reviews and business case support • ... what has the PMO ever done for us?”
  8. 8. Exercise • Split into syndicates and map your own experience onto these pictures • Volatile vs. Static • Complex & Unknown vs. Complicated & Known
  9. 9. Have you heard a good story? • Plans are stories • Good stories have a structure • You can teach people how to tell good stories
  10. 10. Good stories have a structure • There are many genres of story • The structure supports the story you want to tell • Genre defines the content and the structure of the story
  11. 11. PMO options FACILITATING CONTROLLING TRANSFORMATIVE STABILISING PORTFOLIO OFFICE ENTERPRISE TRANSFORMATION REPORTING SERVICE RESOURCE SUPPLY PMO Align portfolio of projects to corporate strategy and priorities For use in significant. centralised transformation of the whole enterprise Provide aggregation of portfolio of projects including analysis and recommendations Provide staffing for projects and local PMOs to make the most efficient use of project management resource Virgin Atlantic Airways MoD IPT A major Government department
  12. 12. Compliance vs Agility – different stories – Nuclear – safety cases – gate based Go/No Go – Pharmaceutical – sequence of trials – heavy legislative burden – Government Business Case reviews – by Whitehall and Major Projects Authority – Web gaming - release competitive features – survival of the fittest
  13. 13. Practice in scheduling • Consequential impact of slippage • Planning horizons – aspirational planning – rolling wave • Local practice vs. central practice • Top down vs bottom up • Designing an Enterprise WBS • Agile vs. Waterfall
  14. 14. What can go wrong? Over planning – takes away the management responsibility Submarine maintenance Too little focus on responsibility for delivery Not delegating budget and scope in MoD EV project No critical path 500+ individual small projects in software development – Banking
  15. 15. How can the PMO help? • Provide consistency – whatever the agreed methodology • Establish the minimum standard for aggregation • Build and maintain the Enterprise Project Structure • Building, maintaining, and progressing the master schedule • Maintain the WBS • Produce aggregated and analytical reporting • Support scenario planning / what-ifs
  16. 16. Practice in governance • Governance of Project Management (APM Knowledge) – Corporate governance that is specifically related to project activities. Effective governance of project management ensures that an organisation’s project portfolio is aligned to the organisation's objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable”
  17. 17. What activities fall under “governance”? • Governance is sometimes understood as the “rules by which the game is played” and sometimes as “playing by the rules” – Levels of authority / decision rights – Sponsoring groups, executives, boards (PRINCE2) – Post Implementation Reviews on Business Cases
  18. 18. Governance stories • Big governance – MoD Initial Gate / Main Gate – big investment, big governance • The wrong kind of governance – Wild swings in capital requirements – GoCo – VOWD calculations in PMO system becomes auditable – utilities – Drawdown of schedule contingency related to risk log – A&D
  19. 19. How can the PMO help? • Make sure that projects “play by the rules” – Embed the rules within the reporting layer – Establish gated process – reduce volatility – Map the planned work to the strategy layer / investment portfolio – Assure policy and procedure compliance by establishing repeatable measures – Independent Baseline Reviews
  20. 20. Practice in Matrix management High technical specialisation Flexible skills deployment Focus on efficiency Focus on schedule Coordination matrix Large software house – may lead to queuing – requires more transactional approach to planning Secondment matrix Capital intensive major projects – may lead to holding on to resource – separate plan for resource assignments Functional departments Plans and commitments built into annual business unit planning Service management Demand –side planning (sales order plan) drives demand on services
  21. 21. How can the PMO help? • Reporting the workload • Facilitating the workflow (production control) • Maintaining accurate location information on resources and their workload • Manage resource booking process • Manage timesheets • Managing transfers (transfer window?)
  22. 22. Exercise • Identify your matrix organisation and whether it works • Think about the types of schedules that you have implemented and how they connect
  23. 23. Have you heard a good story? • Plans are stories • Good stories have a structure • You can teach people how to tell good stories
  24. 24. You can teach people to tell good stories • Listen to good storytellers and how they tell their stories • It’s hard to tell a story that you don't believe in • Good storytellers make the listener part of the story
  25. 25. Range of PM practice (style) • Shepherd vs. sheepdog • Evidence –based vs. “it’s all in my head” • Shouty and reactive vs. planful and considered • Control freak / single point of failure
  26. 26. Who are the best planners? • Domain-specific expertise is helpful but generic skills apply • Outage planning – petrochem / rail • Complicated event – Olympics • Earned Value governed projects – defence / aerospace • Master planners – software development • Make-to-order manufacturing – infrastructure • Long-term infrastructure projects
  27. 27. Practice Practice • Is personal – In most professions we expect basic competency after 3 years • Can be shared – has to be received from a trusted source – requires “situational learning” • Is as flexible as the practitioner chooses to allow • Takes time to develop (“time- served”) Process • Process sets the minimum standard • Provides the opportunity to measure project (or process?) performance • Slow to react to change – updates and localisation are expensive • Projects react to uncertainty – process tries to remove uncertainty
  28. 28. Characteristics of CoPs Cf. Hildreth, Kimble & Wright 1998 Communicating Situated Learning Sense of Community Participation with others Common language Common purpose Evolution Shared background / experience Dynamism Creation of new knowledge Not simply social interaction
  29. 29. Hierarchy of PjM knowledge Adapted from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Biological and Physiological needs Information about project plan, progress, scope Safety needs Risk Management, Project Assurance, Quality Plans, Quality Control Cognitive needs Participation in discussion forums, capture and re-use of knowledge for other projects Esteem needs online reputation building, blogging, recognition of contribution / scoring Belongingness needs Sharing knowledge, co-authoring, chat, project home pages, online presence Self-actualisation Community participation, coaching Transcendence Community of Practice leadership, becoming a coach Collaboration Communities of Practice
  30. 30. Have you heard a good story? • Plans are stories • Good stories have a structure • You can teach people how to tell good stories
  31. 31. Thank you • John Barben • john.barben@exsto.co.uk • www.exsto.co.uk • Jon Street • jonathan.street@atkinsglobal.com

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