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UMT introduces less complex EPM model


Local enterprise project management (EPM) solution provider, UMT Consulting SA, has introduced a less complex enterprise project and portfolio management (EPPM) capability organisational maturity model, one that provides quicker integration and buy-in for strategy portfolio throughput to program and project execution into operation benefit realisation.

Capability maturity assessment is one of the tools consistently leveraged by EPPM practitioners in the creation of adoption roadmaps for organisations that are creating momentum for change with the objective of improving internal governance.
Historically, the problem has been addressed in parallel at the project, program or portfolio levels, and in many cases the solutions devised have been independent of one another, potentially missing on integration aspects that could greatly improve overall results.
UMT Consulting SA CEO, Pieter Meyer, says over the past couple of years, new methodologies that attempt to encompass all three disciplines have been developed, including OPM3 from the PMI.
“These integrated EPPM methodologies have very logical frameworks, but they are also voluminous and typically difficult to put in practice in the field.”
In order to optimise portfolio investments, organisations must move along the EPPM maturity curve through the creation of momentum for change, and the adoption of key value-added processes, technology, and governance principles.
The practical problem of methodologies like OPM 3 lies in how complex it can be to derive a tailored implementation plan from such extensive sets of questions. Once an organisation starts down the path of responding to vast questionnaires without an initial focus, it is easy to get lost in details, because some methodologies require responses to over 500 questions.
Meyer says a framework recently developed by UMT Consulting SA helps to more efficiently reveal key EPPM maturity gaps in an organisation, simplifying the creation of adoption roadmaps that tackle critical issues.
“Under this model, questions are organised and answered in a two-tiered approach. A first tier of 53 questions is used as a diagnostic tool that evaluates EPPM maturity from multiple angles, providing a much needed high-level focus.
“The second tier of questions, which can be based on OPM3 from the PMI, kicks in only after practitioners have decided on the issues that should be tackled next, gathering detailed organisation information needed to create an implementable action plan. This process can be repeated multiple times, introducing an iterative approach that keeps implementations in check and always geared towards maximum value,” he explains.
In order to understand this approach, it is important to review the four dimensions of the model:
* The three core EPPM disciplines – portfolio management, program management and project management. These disciplines require close integration, but maturity among them can differ substantially in an organisation.
For example, it is not surprising to find fairly robust and repeatable project delivery methods, but with poor alignment between project selection and business objectives, which reflects a more pronounced gap in project portfolio management maturity.
* Four key EPPM gates, namely create, select, plan and manage, encompass the end-to-end lifecycle of enterprise project and portfolio management. Create involves business goals description, business case creation and appropriate workflows. Select involves alignment with strategy, project selection and portfolio optimisation.
Plan includes project, resource, cost, and portfolio level planning. Manage includes on-going project tracking benefits and reporting, and portfolio realignment.
* There are three key business operational dimensions to consider for each EPPM gate. Process asks what are the steps, controls, approvals? Organisation asks who is accountable and responsible for each of the process steps and technology decisions?
Technology asks what analytical enablers, collaboration tools, productivity platforms, or system-driven rules are utilised to support the process and organisation definitions?
* A five-point scale equivalent to the one proposed by the PMI is used to measure organisational capability maturity for the process, organisation and technology operational dimensions. "Initial" involves major maturity gaps in division and enterprise definitions. "Repeatable" refers to basic definitions in isolated "pockets" across the organisation.
"Defined" involves established definitions at the division level. "Managed" are the established definitions at the division and enterprise levels. "Optimised" are established definitions at the division and enterprise levels with recognisable efforts for continuous improvement.
He says executives must ensure EPPM is effectively translated from strategy into tactical execution through programs and projects, while ensuring these initiatives are delivering the intended value.
“At a strategic level, they need to access and analyse cost, risks, benefits and trade-offs across the total investment (Capex & Opex) within an accepted investment framework with defined categories and appropriate mix in order to select, prioritise and balance.
“At a tactical level, executives need to manage their spend in accordance to the strategic EPPM level decisions, ensuring real business benefits and optimising business performance, and also giving feedback to strategic level,” he concludes.