Every team thinks its project is a rock star, the one that deserves special treatment. But a strategic PMO must be able to pick the ones that will make a real di;erence to the business.
With a budget of more than US$2 million, Ticketmaster International’s
PMO needed a better way to prioritize its mission-critical initiatives. Prod-
uct roadmaps and requests were often left hanging in limbo. So the
PMO asked each project team to build a business case using a template
;e request was not received well.
“At the time there was an outright revolt,” says Elizabeth Koehn,
senior product director, Ticketmaster, London, England.
;e PMO listened to complaints and worked with product and
;nance teams to simplify and relaunch a streamlined template. It also
brought in an analyst to help teams clearly outline the anticipated business bene;ts of their projects.
;e template also allowed teams to show where they needed more
resources—which led to accelerated delivery.
“;ese extra resources are then added to estimates going forward and
allow more scheduled work to be completed faster,” Ms. Koehn says.
“Stakeholders are therefore more satis;ed, as the cycle time improve-
ment means they don’t have to wait as long and will have a much more
valuable output at project completion.”
Standardization has also helped Ticketmaster’s project teams manage
multiple dependencies that had previously caused delays.
“We’d be in the middle of a sprint and suddenly something would
stop us in our tracks,” says Gerry McDonnell, senior vice president of
technology and the executive sponsor of Ticketmaster’s PMO.
So the PMO built a web-based tool known internally as the Dependency Master. Along with resource modeling, it allowed project managers to address risks and manage change by accessing information
about dependencies in real time. ;e visual system has provided more
transparency and control from a project level, which also speeds up the
overall delivery process.
“;e incidence of projects getting blocked because of an unforeseen or
badly managed dependency has dropped from critical to almost nothing,” Mr.
;e PMO knows that kind of performance requires serious talent. So it
applies the same due diligence to its talent management, outlining a clear
career path for project managers and opening up opportunities for training
and knowledge sharing. PM
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