“Once the top management is convinced that this is important, it’s easier
for the rest of the institution to absorb,” says Joel Tejeda, deputy manager,
monetary, financial and exchange rate policies, CBDR.
With executive sponsorship secure, the PMO team began encouraging
adoption of project management practices across the organization. The bank’s
leadership was especially keen on having the PMO implement processes that
would help the CBDR identify problems early on, make necessary adjustments
and ensure projects were in sync with strategy.
By forging strong partnerships with project managers across the institution
and positioning them as best practice facilitators rather than auditors, the
PMO was able to change minds—and increase strategic alignment—across
the bank’s departments, Mr. Tejeda says.
“The most important way to know if the PMO has been successful is the rate
of compliance,” he says. “From 2006 to 2009, 57 percent of projects were not
related to the strategic plan. Now, only 11 percent of projects are not related.”
Having the entire portfolio under the PMO’s management has also allowed
the team to reduce redundancy, which has freed up resources to support proj-
ects that deliver greater value, Ms. Duran says.
“Resources are scarce,” she says. “So the PMO has guided the whole institu-
tion in the way that it prioritizes, assigns and balances resources according to
the organizational strategy.”
The PMO’s robust management practices “enable us to only implement
priority projects and execute them within the
approved constraints of scope, cost and schedule,”
Ms. Duran says.
One high-profile example was a 2008-2011
project to integrate the real-time gross settlement systems of the Dominican Republic and five
neighboring nations. By increasing the speed at
which money and securities are transferred (or
“settled”) between banks, it promised to make the
regional economy more efficient.
While its partners—Guatemala, Costa Rica,
Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador—were
all on board, the PMO team knew that logisti-
cal complexities of working across borders could
prove difficult. To avoid delays, the PMO gave the
project consortium standardized processes that
streamlined communications and helped each
country move toward the shared goal. Defining the
project’s objectives and then using the same forms,
reporting tools and success measures throughout
execution kept disparate teams on the same page, Ms. Herrera says.
“The PMO helped by giving us standards,” she says. “It helped us speak the
same project language.”
Wind in the Sails
With standardized processes in place and support for them growing, the
PMO began working to identify other ways it could improve the bank’s
A PMO’s Evolution
n 2006: The Central Bank of the Dominican
Republic (CBDR) approves its 2006-2009
strategic plan and the creation of a project
management office (PMO).
n 2007: The PMO launches.
n 2008: The PMO team implements its
portfolio assessment methodology.
n 2009: The team finds that only 43 percent
of projects are related to the bank’s
n 2010: The team begins tracking the PMO’s
maturity using PMI’s Organizational
Project Management Maturity Model
n 2011: The project management information system is deployed.
n July 2013: The PMO’s Plans and Project
Management procedures receive approval.
n December 2013: An internal assessment
based on OPM3 finds the PMO’s maturity
has increased dramatically.
n 2014: The team finds that 89 percent
of projects support the strategic plan—
more than double the portion five
It helped us