Decision Making Process Part 1 – Overview

If you are a Project Manager, you make numerous decisions every day. Some are minor, some major and some in-between. Good communication and decision making are the top two skills needed by the Project Manager for sustained success. In the upcoming series of posts, I will share some thoughts and methods for effective decision making.

Here are the topics that will be addressed:

  • Why we struggle with some decisions
  • The consequences of poor decisions
  • The outcomes of a good decision-making process
  • The eight step process
    • Begin with the end in mind
    • Identify and analyze your alternatives
    • Identify and mitigate your risks
    • Distance yourself from short-term emotion
    • Make contingency plans
    • Make the decision
    • Evaluate the outcomes
    • Evaluate the process
  • Summary

 

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Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) Part 2 – Business Objectives

If you have been following this blog you will recognize a common theme in almost everything you want to do: Know your outcomes (aka “Business Objectives”). Before establishing a PMO, you need to understand the PMO Sponsor’s vision of what problems they are trying to solve and/or what opportunities they wish to exploit.

Here are some possible problems your business may face that can be mitigated by having a PMO. You may have one or more of these to solve:

  • We aren’t maximizing our Return On Investment (ROI) from our portfolio of projects.
  • Our project mix is not aligned with our long and short term business goals
  • We don’t have control of our project request process
  • We have key resources frequently overloaded causing project bottlenecks and delays
  • Our projects are usually late
  • Our projects are usually over budget
  • We under-deliver on the agreed upon scope
  • Our projects often have the scope expanded without knowledge or approval
  • Our project quality is frequently lacking
  • We take on too much risk
  • We don’t take on enough risk

Depending on the problems you wish to solve, here is just a sample of the measurable business outcomes you can obtain my investing in a PMO:

  • Regular financial analysis reviews showing the ROI on the current active project portfolio and the ROI on alternative combinations of projects
  • No resource bottlenecks; Resources obtained and deployed in the most effective manner
  • Deliver projects on or under the approved schedule and budget
  • Deliver on the approved scope
  • Control how much risk we are taking on (possibly by regular review of the risk/reward matrix of the current portfolio of projects)

In the next post I will present some possible Project Objectives for the establishment of a PMO.

Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) Part 1 – Overview

If your organization is embarking on creating a PMO, congratulations! You will typically find one in the best run companies. If you are not sure how to go about it, I will offer some guidance and suggestions in the upcoming series of posts.

Creating a PMO is a goal. Presumably, you want to have it done by a target date. The combination of a goal and a target date means you have a project! You should treat the establishment of a PMO as a project and use formal project management techniques to do so.

Here are the topics I will address in this series:

  • Part 2 – The Business Objectives
  • Part 3 – The Project Objectives
  • Part 4 – The Stakeholders
  • Part 5 – The Scope
  • Part 6 – The Timeline and the Budget
  • Part 7 – Risks, Constraints, Dependencies
  • Part 8 – Summary

Something as business critical as creating a PMO should never be done via undocumented, ad hoc conversations. Following the guidelines I provide in the upcoming posts will give you a much greater chance of success.