The client, a local authority, engaged LEVA Advisory to address three questions:
· What is the maturity of their capital programme PMO?
· Has organisational project maturity increased because of the PMO?
· Is the PMO a good cultural fit within the organisation and best value?
The client has commissioned an external group to provide their PMO services for their major capital works programme, delivering their major works over 5+ years. The client liked the idea of a ‘fully ready’ and experienced/proven team to step into the role and hit the ground running, bringing the best of delivery practice to their organisation.
LEVA was engaged to assess the external PMO’s maturity – a contractual obligation of the third party was to complete a maturity assessment at this point of delivery. As the client had previously completed a P3M3* self-assessment, LEVA utilised this as the baseline and collated evidence for the assessment applying both desktop reviews and one to one interviews. LEVA provided a refreshed P3M3 assessment in a user-friendly dashboard reporting style, noting observations and opportunities to improve maturity.
The client engagement also sought LEVA to gain insight if organisational delivery maturity had increased as either a direct or indirect consequence of the external PMO.
LEVA utilised a broadened interview process and the client’s previous baseline P3M3 assessment, to gather evidence of any notable changes in maturity across the organisation. Interviewees were asked to provide responses around how the functional business lines currently approached programme and project delivery both in the context of the PMO and how delivery occurred outside of the PMO in their area.
Focus was given to the cultural fit of the PMO within the context of a local authority and the appreciation given to Council processes and community/stakeholder engagement – an overarching response was sought from interviewees around the PMO’s performance.
* P3M3 is a management maturity model which aims for a gradual increase of maturity in how an organisation delivers its projects, programmes and portfolios. As with any investment in an improvement initiative, increasing the maturity rating should not be seen as a justification itself. It is about the improved capability to deliver strategic objectives, reduce costs and increase success rates. P3M3 has been developed and is certified through Axelos - P3M3 Axelos consulting partners
Client-centric – LEVA worked closely with the client’s sponsor to understand what success in the client’s mind looked like. This inputted into our delivery approach of conducting a tailored interview process to separate the assessment of maturity and maintain an unbiased assessment of the PMO and its cultural fit as well as an assessment of its value for money.
Best Practice Techniques – LEVA is an Axelos Accredited Consulting Partner (ACP) and can provide enhanced self-assessments (this engagement) as well as certified P3M3* assessments, our focus is always on the best fit for our client’s specific needs.
Experience-based – LEVA approached the assessment process based on their PMO and project management experience gained across other organisations and previous experiences of similar commissions – bringing the best of our knowledge to the benefit of our clients is key to LEVA’s approach.
Independent insights – LEVA’s approach is to call out what it has observed, providing candid and constructive insights to add value for our clients, our recommendations are well-considered and substantiated within our investigative approach.
Pragmatic artefacts – LEVA’s approach was based on realistic and pragmatic delivery that was tailored for the client organisation and maturity. Documentation was PowerPoint-based rather than long wordy documents making it easy for the client to navigate and digest.
LEVA were able to complete a P3M3 assessment and gap analysis across the seven perspectives for the PMO – Organisational Governance, Management control, Benefits Management, Risk Management, Stakeholder Management, Finance Management, Resource management. This provided the client with an objective assessment and clearly identified areas were maturity improvement would be beneficial and could be achieved with modest changes. The assessment also identified areas where the PMO has delivered real value across project delivery.
The client had also wanted to address the question of the PMO’s value and best cultural fit for the organisation and LEVA was able to affirm that the organisation strongly endorsed the concepts, value and tools of the PMO – but held views around its cultural fit. LEVA identified that the introduction of the new PMO lacked any change management and has suffered because of it – which the client fully recognises and is keen not to repeat. LEVA researched alternative resourcing model options for the client to address the question of value for money.
From the findings of the interviews, LEVA summarised the organisational maturity, the organisational perspective of the PMO’s fit and LEVA’s assessment of value. LEVA also identified opportunities to enhance PMO maturity as well as obstacles currently in place to raise organisational maturity.
LEVA’s report provided the client with clearly defined opportunities and ‘next steps’ which enabled the client to own and manage those steps independently or seek support in the delivery if it so chooses.