Organization: Central Bank of
the Dominican Republic
PMO started: 2007
Location: Santo Domingo,
Stabilizing an Economy
Annual inflation at 49 percent. A 35-percent bond interest rate. Even before the onset of the 2008-2009 global recession, the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (CBDR) had plenty to worry about.
To tackle the economy’s deep structural problems, CBDR realized it needed
to restructure itself. So in 2007, the bank’s governing board approved the creation of a PMO with a clear mandate: help fulfill the institution’s constitutional
mission by strategically aligning the bank’s project portfolio and establishing
project management best practices.
In other words, the PMO was tasked with nothing less than restoring and
maintaining the country’s macroeconomic and financial stability. And it had
to do so while proving to skeptical bank employees that the PMO is more than
just a “form factory” requiring excessive documentation and reporting, says Luis
José Bourget, planning and budget department director, CBDR, Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic. His department sponsors the PMO.
When it came to securing buy-in, “the biggest challenge was gaining trust,
proving measurable value to the institution’s performance and results improvement through portfolio, program and project management,” Mr. Bourget says.
The PMO rose decisively to the challenge, integrating strategic and operational planning while leading the organization’s drive for focused strategic
thinking across the portfolio. It also achieved standardized processes throughout the bank and supported its clients—project managers and stakeholders—
with tools and mentoring as necessary.
Project plans are now consistently completed in the areas of quality, risk,
communications and stakeholder management, going beyond the triple constraint, procurement and human resources. The PMO pushed for consistent
program management practices from its start and began an official standardization process in 2013. The portfolio, program and project management
domains are monitored through quarterly performance reports and semiannual evaluations.
Of course, Dominicans were likely unaware of the PMO’s behind-the-scenes
dedication to bringing economic stability to their lives. Yet by overseeing the
efficient execution of the bank’s strategic research and policy formulation projects, the PMO proved invaluable. The payoff was clear during the years following its creation: During 2006-2009, the country’s inflation rate declined to an
average of 7. 25 percent, the bank’s bonds interest rate fell to about 13 percent,
and the exchange rate dropped from RD65/US$1 to RD35/US$1.
Beyond those highly visible economic barometers, bank projects included
successfully pushing for new legislation to strengthen the financial system and
implementing a national payment system that guarantees the security of payments and securities.
Given the PMO’s impact on the bank and country, its leaders are now sharing
best practices—and rightfully so. “We strive to foster project management’s best
practices in the country’s governmental and private sectors,” Mr. Bourget says.
FINALISTS PMO OF THE YEAR