26 PM NETWORK SEP TEMBER 2016 WWW.PMI.ORG
Derrick A. Richardson, PMP, is an executive-
level project management consultant based
in Union City, California, USA.
the PMO and internal sales and marketing team is
essential to manage customer expectations.
3. Lack of clear prioritization
It’s critical that tech organizations establish clear
priorities at the portfolio level. At any time,
the composition of a technology portfolio can
change based on new project initiation, technical
or commercial failures, competing priorities or
financial concerns. Effective technology portfolio
management is achieved by establishing clear,
well-aligned performance metrics relevant to the
business and business model. An effective PMO
provides the tools and disciplines to accurately
track these metrics and enable objective decision-making by senior management.
Organizations that have no method for continually assessing the relative priority of projects in
their portfolio can fall victim to subjectively prioritizing initiatives that are the newest, coolest, sexiest or most complicated, with limited visibility into
which projects actually best serve the needs of the
business. This is an especially relevant blind spot in
technology-driven organizations due to the excitement and buzz that is often associated with truly
novel, cutting-edge products and services.
At the project level, issues always arise during
technology development. This can put significant
pressure on the project team and result in confusion and frustration if project-level priorities are
not clear from the outset. One of the technology
project manager’s most critical jobs is to make
decisions in line with organizational objectives
and cross-functional alignment. Often, decisions
made at the project level can impact an associated
program; in turn, program decisions can impact
Project management and PMOs can add tremendous value to technology-driven companies.
But that value starts with a sober, realistic and
dynamic understanding of how to properly integrate project management disciplines into the
in contract manufacturing environments for two
reasons: revenue pressure and external customers.
The pressure to “get going” described above can
be intensified when a technology contract manufacturer receives a purchase order for delivery of
goods or services. An internal sales team may have
brokered the agreement, sometimes with poor
alignment with the groups that will have to deliver
what was promised.
Ideally, the PMO will be involved in negotiating
the scope of work and can serve as a unifying voice
during planning, execution and delivery of goods
and services. The typical contract manufacturing
engagement can be complicated by a demanding
customer who may have limited understanding of
what’s required to deliver what was ordered. The
customer may be understandably unaware of the
innovative “secret sauce” fueling the proprietary
device or manufacturing methodologies. He or she
may not understand how a seemingly innocuous
request can disrupt a timeline, budget or quality.
A skilled project manager must walk a fine line of
managing the expectations of internal stakeholders
and external customers while also protecting the
company’s trade secrets. A strong alliance between
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