Tools, Techniques & Approaches... Why Bother?

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Posted by APM on 29th Sep 2007

Tools, Techniques & Approaches. Why Bother?

26th & 27th September 2007 Warwickshire

The September 2007 PPSOSIG event took place on the 26& 27th September 2007 at Warwick Conferences (University of Warwick Campus)
> See the full agenda for the event (PDF)

Tools, techniques and approaches are the lifeblood of the PPSO, without these we are unable to support, advise or assess our organisations programmes and projects. Feedback from previous conferences had shown that delegates wanted to see a more focused conference in the areas of tools, techniques and approaches and have the opportunity to see what other organisations and PPSOs are doing in this area.

The Tools, techniques & approaches why bother? conference over two days looked at the outcome when we said we bothered!

We kicked off with a presentation from Kim Brown*, Programme Manager from the Met Police, currently heading up the Programme Management Office. Kims career to date has spanned different types of organisations and the presentation gave an insight to the success factors in implementing an effective PMO.

> Presentation from Kim Brown

*Kim has been managing projects and programmes for many years and although initially in the high tech environment of telecoms, she quickly moved onto delivering business change. Having worked both as an internal and external change management consultant she has managed all aspects of programmes with particular experience in developing and managing PSOs. Kim has chosen to speak of two very different PSO/PMO experiences one in the early stages and one mature organisation. Kim now works in the Metropolitan Police Service as a Programme Manager.
Facilitation Skills
To help us get the most out of our workshops and to ensure we capitalised on the opportunity to see what other organisations and PPSOs are doing in this area, Helen Williams from Starfish Development joined us to take us through -Facilitation Skills Brain Friendly Training. Helens style and energy enables the group to use effective facilitation skills during the workshops and also take away valuable tips to carry our facilitation within our own programmes and projects when needed.

> Facilitation Checklist from Helen Williams

Next up David Dunning from Corporate Project Solutions delivered a presentation on MS Project the Art of the possible linking projects, programmes and portfolios. David gave an overview of enterprise project management systems from Microsoft and the capabilities it gives to entities in organisations like the PMO

> Enterprise Project Management (Large File)

Over the two days, delegates took part in four workshops - facilitated by one delegate (and thanks to Helen feedback also given on their facilitation skills) the four workshops:

- Methods what do you use and why
- Doing the projects right (assurance / methods)
- Doing the right projects (portfolio / prioritisation/ strategy / benefits)
- Tool selection and usage

The workshop objectives

To share experiences on PPSO practise for the topic area
To ask for advice on particular matters of concern within the topic area
To network with group members
To capture two Best Learnings for each workshop for sharing with the wider group
To generate questions for the Question Time session for our expert panel
> See more detail on the workshops

> Outcomes from the workshops

At the end of the day Question Time gave delegates the opportunity to put questions to the panel. Some great questions were raised;

I feel the project management framework & its principles are common sense why do we find it so difficult to implement? For example, before project management ever existed we delivered things such as St Pauls Cathedral & London Underground. Are there basic reasons, principles the panels expertise can help me understand why we have a degree of failure to deliver to time/cost/quality across organisations?
What do the panel think about the changes to the PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam now multiple choice?!
Can a PMO be successfully offshored? If so, to what an extent?
How much does EPM cost?
To find out the thoughts and opinions of the panel and other delegates in our Question Time you really needed to be there! For other questions asked please revisit the website soon well be launching our blog which will give you an opportunity to join in the discussion.

Evening Entertainment the quiz returned and unfortunately an embarrassment was suffered at Table 2. In an underhanded attempt to win the quiz through mobile phone cheating, the group failed to deliver the goods by failing to copy the answers down correctly! Let that be a lesson to you!

Day Two
Kicking off the morning session we heard from John Chapman on Project and Programme Accounting, John has recently published a book on the subject (see below)

> Project and Programme Accounting from John Chapman (Large File)

> Buy the Book Project and Programme Accounting: A Practical Guide for Professional Service Organisations and IT

And finally Excel the PPSOs Friend or Foe? from Chris Walters, some useful tips and advice from Chris on a universal PMO tool one of the most obvious learnings from the workshops was as a service we cant live without MS Excel but are you getting the most from it

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