Establishment of an Enterprise PMO / Introduction of Workfront

  • When?

    February – October 2020

  • Where?

    Lower Saxony, Germany

  • Oranisation?

    leading, medium-sized company in the beverage industry

  • What?

    Definition of the service catalog of the newly established enterprise PMO, selection of the PPM system and implementation.

  • Methods and Systems

    Adobe Workfront for project management and collaboration
    Project methodology according to PMI
    Standardized RfI and RfP process

  • Background

    The company established a new function to bring transparency to the project portfolio. Too many projects were running at the same time, there was a lack of prioritisation and a project overview. Resources were involved in projects on an ad-hoc basis and many projects ran “forever” without visible progress.

  • Approach

    First, we defined the service catalogue of the new PMO together with the head of department and agreed on priorities between the different PMO processes. In status-quo meetings with the management, the most important pain points were identified, which the new function should solve first and foremost.

    It quickly became clear that a PPM system was also needed to improve collaboration. So, using reputable vendor references (Gartner, Forrester, IDC), we compiled a list of 15 potentially interesting solution providers.

    In the RfI process, we narrowed this list down to 3 vendors and then requested detailed quotes from them in the RfP process.

    Workfront (at the time before it was purchased by Adobe) delivered the most compelling overall package of portfolio, project management and project collaboration functionality.

    We defined key project management processes, documented in a project manager handbook, and rolled out the system and process to about 100 project managers.

  • Key Milestones

    • Scope of services of the PMO defined
    • Status-quo meetings with management
    • PPM vendor selection (long list, short list)
    • Processes and training material created
    • Workfront configured with the help of a specialized partner
    • Training conducted and PPM system rolled out
  • Results

    Workfront has changed project transparency in the company for good. Despite initial scepticism on the part of the board, after a short time the project list in Workfront became the “golden source of truth”. Strategy had to be mapped via projects in Workfront and the successful completion of projects became part of management’s target discussions.

    For the first time, project managers had a system in Workfront to plan their project and execute it across departments.

  • What have we learnt?

    Even without top management support, the introduction of project portfolio management is possible. However, you need patience, good templates, experience and tact to bring staff along.

    The PPM market is extremely diverse (with over 300 providers according to crozdesk, a comparison platform for software solutions). Finding the truly good providers is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Nevertheless, it takes luck, because the best choice today is not necessarily the best choice a year later.