Updated: Sep 5
This is the next post in a series of posts about building a strong PMO with this one focused on your tools. No PMO is going to be strong without a good set of tools behind it. In this post we’ll examine the types of tools that you need to have in order to have a great PMO.
Professional Services Automation (PSA)
PSA solutions are critical to any professional services and PMO organizations. Their functionality allows for good project budget management and timesheet entry as well as other ancillary functions such as workflows, notifications, etc. Choosing and implementing a PSA solution is not an easy task however vital to the success of a PMO. It provides a wealth of data points for which projects are to be monitored and KPI’s established. It provides a tool that your entire organization uses for the delivery of your projects from task definition to time entry.
What gets measured gets done. One of my favorite mantras when it comes to project management. Finding a way to measure progress to-date as well as expected work to come is hugely vital to you as a project manager. Effective reporting is just as valuable has having your PSA system in place. Being able generate reports on the fly or have a set of canned reports that are used for regular processing (project status reports, budget, and financial reporting) is a massive need for any successful PMO. By having reports to measure KPI’s and other targets your organization has, you are enabling your organization to effectively measure what has been done and use predictive analytics to project where you will be in the future.
Scheduling & Resource Management
A scheduling and resource management tool is vital, especially for projects where resource may be shared among different projects or commitments. Being able to properly see who is committed to what and when is huge when it comes to being able to properly fulfill your commitments to your customers on your projects. Being able to view micro-assignments (i.e. down to the day) is also valuable when planning out more broad-stroke tasks so that your project resources are not overwhelmed by multiple project managers assigning tasks due in the same timeframe.
A PMO is built on a foundation of many things, including the tools that are put into place. Using good processes to help shape the tools in order to have the tools help the PMO is critical to the success of managing your overall portfolio.