ROMAN BARANOVSKY, PHD, PMP, EXPERIAN
DECISION ANALY TICS, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
VOICES From the Top
n 2007, Roman Baranovsky, PhD, PMP, faced a
grim situation: Though IT services organization
Experian Decision Analytics had the resources
and financial backing of a global corporation, its
office in Moscow, Russia handled only five proj-
ects per year.
As the location’s new chief project officer (CPO),
Mr. Baranovsky was tasked with developing the project management practices that would help scale the
size of its portfolio.
“At the time, the role of project manager was not
defined as a profession in our region,” he says.
Mr. Baranovsky knew that hiring a CPO doesn’t
translate to immediate results. But he worked steadily to
infuse the organization with best practices, implementing
standardized templates, tools and portfolio-level reporting. Bit by bit, the company saw fewer troubled projects
and more transparency of information.
Today, the Moscow office has about 50 projects
in its portfolio. “Solid project management practices,”
says Mr. Baranovsky, “allowed us to support the
growth of our organization.”
What is the first thing a new CPO
Create an understanding of what’s happening within
the organization. Sometimes there are projects that no
one knows about that are initiated from the local level
and are eating up time and resources.
So first, we listed all the projects and assigned each
project to a project manager, or in the case of limited
resources, a senior employee to act as the project manager. The projects became much more manageable,
and problems that were open for quite a long time
started to be solved.
That’s only part of portfolio management—and sometimes, just common sense.
What is one type of project
information that should be regularly
reported to the executive level?
Knowing what resources we’ll need in one, two or
three month’s time is information the executive level
needs to know. That helps us see how we can continue a project.
For example, at the moment we have a large
program with a European client that consists of
35 projects. It’s stretching our resources. If
I can ensure there’s a process in place to see
information about the types of people we will
need to staff these projects, we can start searching for them. Knowing this in advance helps us
deliver business results and fulfill the customer’s expectations.
How do you motivate internal
stakeholders to comply with
In many cases, I can tell people how something
should be done to avoid problems. However, in the
case of executive management, I can’t make the final
decision, so in this case, I try to provide as much
information as possible for the decision-makers, helping them to arrive at an informed decision.
I can direct what project or program managers do, if needed, but I still try to get their buy-in
on an approach. This would help them understand
the reasons behind it, learn the pattern and generally
make them more committed to proper execution. PM
You don’t need
to be a specially
manager to see
if the project
is making out-
its way to the