8 July 2008

Starting from Scratch

At my office, we are currently working on reinventing ourselves. We are looking at the work we do and reorganizing ourselves to do it better. This means we have moved some departments into related "functional areas" and added an Oversight department.

This all seems pretty straightforward until you realize that we have never really had a single group with the responsibility of seeing "The Big Picture" and managing projects through the maze we call an organization. This is not day-to-day project management, this is oversight of solution providers who do project management as well as managing budgeting, feedback, procurement, and contracting processes. It is not simply a PMO but it definitely involves many PMO features.

As the Business Analyst involved, I am involved in creating some of these processes from scratch. But where to start?

So far, we have:
  1. Created a functional statement
  2. Identified major processes at a high level and
  3. Identified interaction points with other groups.

Between my own experience and the resources I've found online, I've made some suggestions on what to do next and we have made a plan. However, I'd love feedback from this community to see what advice you have on the next steps to take. Any hints, tips or tricks? Any major gotchas to watch for? Any sympathetic stories to tell? I'll take any and all information I can get.


  1. Hi Janet

    A couple of thoughts for you;

    1. Focus on people and roles first
    2. In a consulting organsiation (I presume that is what we're talking about) you need to put a lot of control in the hands of the do-ers
    3. Have a look at PMI's OPM3 stuff for portfolio, programme and project management tips.
    4. Have a think about how a balanced scorecard approach will help choose projects and monitor progress.
    5. Definietly try to make room for more than one project process.

    A couple of ideas for you...

    Anyone else?

  2. Thanks Craig!

    I hadn't thought to check the OPM3 stuff. I'll definitely keep your ideas in mind.

    (See, online mentoring just like I mentioned in my last blog post. ;-)

  3. Anonymous1:29 pm

    Hi Janet,

    I think you might find an investment in a social or organisational network analysis quite illuminating. The downside is it is data intensive, but a least you deal in the facts.

    For some examples have a look at some of the visualisations on my site at http://www.durantlaw.info/Visualisations , or read Rob Cross' book "The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations".

    Contact me by email if you would like to know more.

    Best Regards, Graham

  4. Anonymous2:18 am

    Hi Janet

    Think about process modelling across the organisation - tools like MEGA can help you take an enterprise architecture view. If that seems too daunting, start with a problem statement: what is it that you are trying to resolve?

    Also, have a think about benefits. Benefits mapping back to the balanced scorecard can be a really illuminating way to identify which will be the best projects to do, and which processes/people they will affect.