Enterprise project management organisation (EPMO) - what does it look like ?

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Posted by APM on 2nd Feb 2011

EPMO What does it look like? The question posed to an audience of some 60 members and guests at the South Wales and West of England Branch evening seminar held on the 19th January 2011, kindly hosted by W S Atkins in their Bristol Aztec West facility.

Following a brief welcoming address by Martin Gosden the Branch Chairman, the audience were introduced to the subject by David Dunning from CPS to explore and describe what and how an effective EPMO may be structured. David initially described how within the current business arena, delivery of business improvement through change (programmes and projects) it is vital to remaining lean and competitive, and vital for maximising value from taxpayers and shareholders alike. With business confidence starting to recover, businesses continue to demand value from every project. Organisations are asking tough questions on potential and live projects. Therefore a continual necessity exists to focus on the right projects and programmes for scarce business resources making heavy demands on existing processes, capabilities, support structures and tools. Thoughts are, can organisations further cut resources and pressure people to deliver more, or should there be change in cultural, organisational and behaviour habits? Can Enterprise Project Management technology solutions replace peoples skills and abilities?

Since the work in an organisation consists of Business As Usual (BAU) , existing project work, future work, as well as programmes of work, should we be looking for a holistic solution in, what might be termed the Enterprise Portfolio Management Organisation (EPMO)?

To explain this approach David used a route map to demonstrate the EPMO strategy by initially putting things into context by describing a simple definition of an EPMO, leading on to the Portfolio Process & Structure aimed at providing a clearer definition. He went on to described the component parts of a EPMO solution and by raising the perception of need leads to how an acceptable solution may be implemented.

During the final part of the presentation a case study was presented Paul Cobb, a Programme Manager currently on secondment to DE&S Abbey Wood to implement an EPMO solution within their Logistics Operations sector. Using the DE&S preferred Enterprise Project Management tool, Paul and his team are currently engaged in the implementation an improvement programme bringing together many of the major segments of Logistical Operations under one integrated solution.

The evenings presentations were followed by a vibrant and enthusiastic question and answer session and in conclusion, the chairman thanked both presenters, the audience and W S Atkins for hosting this event and hoped all had enjoyed this very informative event.

Allan Reid South Wales Chapter Co Chair

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