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Case Study: Worldwide Communication Industry

Case Study Project Management Maturity

Business Challenge

A worldwide communications industry leader was coming off its third failed attempt to migrate its global Project Management Office to a central enterprise system.   At the time, the company had over 2,000 Project and Program Managers in six continents, who were divided into regional organizations with highly disparate processes and systems.  After several years of failed initiatives aimed at standardizing and centralizing global processes, the company turned to i3solutions with the simple question: “What’s our next move?”

Our Solution

The company’s Global Project Management Office was struggling to implement an enterprise PPM (Project Portfolio Management) system and standardize global processes across several disparate regional organizations totaling over 2,000 Project and Portfolio Managers.   Over several years, it had attempted to implement a “best-in-class” PPM system across its enterprise on three separate occasions, and each time the initiative failed to achieve global adoption.  In the wake of multiple failed initiatives, regional PMO organizations had adopted disparate PPM processes with each region piecing together a hodgepodge consisting of aspects it liked best.  Each regional organization had pieced together its own unique mixture of processes, commercial systems, and home-grown “shadow” systems.   As a result, the PMO office had found itself at a competitive disadvantage, where the lack of common global processes and infrastructure caused high project overhead costs, unreliable business intelligence, and a low degree of transparency across projects and portfolios.

Faced with high overhead costs and highly disparate regional processes, the company brought in a team of i3solutions consultants and asked, “what’s our next move?”  Many executives at the company firmly believed that implementing a “best-in-class” PPM system would bring unity to its Global PMO and help the organization standardize processes, and most of them pressured our team to identify the enterprise PPM system that was right for the company.

A team of consultants from i3solutions partnered with members of the company’s global PMO team and interviewed over 120 Project Managers, Portfolio Managers, and Stakeholders in 20+ countries on six continents. The i3solutions consultants advised company team members on effective interview methodologies for assessing “As-Is” process while navigating cultural and political barriers.   After concluding our As-Is assessment, our team of i3solutions consultants leveraged our Project Management Maturity methodology to assess the PMO organization’s people, processes, and technology using over 30 criteria. The Project Management Maturity assessment was a key aspect of our team’s recommendations, as our team outlined where the PMO organization stood relative to its competitors, its strategic goals, and most importantly, where it needed to improve in order to be “ready” to implement a best-in-class PPM system with a high probability of success.

Results

After losing millions of dollars on failed systems implementations and strategic initiatives that yielded zero return on investment, the company was able to finally identify low-risk, high value quick wins for its PMO after a short three-month assessment by a small team of i3solutions consultants.  Our team outlined an actionable enterprise roadmap, which would allow the organization to continuously move towards its strategic goals with bankable results.

Most importantly, we influenced a change in management philosophy: rather than implementing an enterprise system as a means to assimilate, it must first standardize the processes to maximize return on investment in an enterprise system with a low risk of adoption failure.