Project Management within an organisation should reflect the size, maturity and needs of the organisation. The organisation will also need to consider how it wants to implement good project management practices and depending on the size may choose to implement a Project Management Office (PMO), Centre of Excellence (CoE) or something else altogether, perhaps a Project Management Practice or a PMO which later becomes a CoE.

Each organisation will have different requirements but the model chosen must take into account the needs of the organisation, the types of projects, quantity of projects, maturity in the Project Management space and scalability requirements.

Once you start defining the PM operating model within your organisation, there are several things that need to be considered, for example;

  • Is the model fit for purpose?
  • Is the model scalable?
  • Is the model clearly understood?
  • Is there a sponsor for the new operating model?
  • Has the organisations leadership team committed to it?

Key to your success in defining this model is establishing standards that enhance project management across an organisation, not hinder it. You can do this by introducing effective collaboration at all levels of the organisation whilst developing the function.

A function that does not collaborate will only build resistance or frustration within the project organisation and fail to survive or thrive.

So what are some of the things an organisation should consider when starting from the beginning?

  • Create a charter for the function
  • Create a detailed communication plan and frequently communicate the strategy and progress against it during development
  • Review and measure your performance regularly, ensuring improvements and adjustments are made along the way to keep evolving
  • Track and realise benefits associated with introduction of a standardised PM model
  • Improve and develop staff across all areas of Project Management

In my experience an organisation may request implementation of a new Project Management function and expect it to be done quickly. Doing it properly from the beginning and taking your time to get it right, is the key to long term survival. Don’t be tempted to push forward aggressively; otherwise you may be missing out on crucial things during the implementation.

You need time to take stakeholders through the process allowing for feedback and collaboration between teams across the organisation.

Remember the introduction of new systems, tools, processes and documentation needs to support the teams not hinder their performance. Unfortunately too many times, I’ve seen an organisation implement a new tool, process or system that has been tested but not with the end users, the people who will have to live with the system going forward. It is important to enable this to happen so they feel part of the change.

Take all of this into consideration and then you will be on your way for developing a long lasting effective Project Management model that will survive (and evolve) for a long time after.

Remember the model will vary across organisations, but the model will be yours.

Finally starting small is best and remember keep it simple!