Launching an enterprise project management
office (EPMO) can be a daunting task. But
making sure it is fully aligned to organizational strategy from the start will increase its
impact. Ian Laliberte, PMP, vice president of
delivery shared services and PMO, TD Bank,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, offers four tips to
ensure an EPMO is on the same strategic page
as the C-suite.
Learn the lay of the land. Knowing your
rules of engagement before you start
shows you understand the organizational
structure. Have items on the table that you
know are a must for success—and adhere
to them. For example, “Know where the
EPMO sits in the organization and ensure it
reflects where most of the spend type will
take place, to whom it will report, and who
the immediate top players are around you,”
Mr. Laliberte says.
Set the plan. Getting a roadmap to launch
shouldn’t take more than about 100 days.
Use that time to listen and understand what
executives and senior leaders expect of the
EPMO—as well as the risks and opportunities
within the organization.
Measure twice. Be ruthless about your time
and calendar. You must build “think” time and
validate your early findings and analysis with
your trusted network. This is how you will
gain perspective with your thinking and help
validate early on if you are on the right track.
Customize. Tailor the EPMO to the organization’s needs as much as possible. For instance,
design a three-tiered approach to find the
right size and speed. “There’s no such thing as
one-size-fits-all,” Mr. Laliberte says.
“You need to
speak the C-suite
lead and run
your EPMO like a
—Ian Laliberte, PMP, TD Bank,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
What are the best ways
for EPMOs to deliver value?
Ms. Nolan: It varies by organization, but the common approach is to maintain a customer-focused
mindset by listening, observing and identifying the
project-related opportunities that are speci;c to
the organization. ;e EPMO leverages its project-and portfolio-management expertise to formulate
solutions to address those challenges. Be willing
to adapt to the unique and changing needs of the
organization. Being adaptable while also bringing
discipline and rigor to an organization is a unique
feat, and therefore highly valuable.
Mr. Nadler: Focus on how you can really add
business value to the company as an EPMO. Don’t
get too preoccupied on the execution itself. Don’t
get me wrong, that’s important, but if that’s the
purpose of the PMO, it won’t survive the pace of
change in your organization.
Mr. Bulger: EPMOs best provide value in three
critical areas. The first is in the constant alignment of the portfolio and available capital to the
strategy of the organization. The second is portfolio benefits realization—ensuring that all projects and programs deliver the advertised benefits.
The third is the constant communication of the
portfolio’s health, status and alignment to stakeholders. PM