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Chief Information Officer

John Strider
Director Application
Development
Richard Steinberg
Director Technology &
Operations

Financial Systems
Manager
Director Project
Mgmt. Support
Larry Field
Manufacturing
Systems Manager
Steven Gardner
Workgroup
Communications
Manager
Sales Systems
Manager

Adv. Systems
Replacement Project
Manager
Lead Analyst

Lead Analyst

Lead Analyst

Lead Analyst

Lead Analyst
Linda Starr
PMO Director
Mark Nelson
Project Manager

Project Manager

An Analysis of AtekPC
Howard Kleinberg, Mark Grover
As we walk through our analysis of this case, please keep the following questions in mind:
1. What mistakes did AtekPC make in implementing its PMO?
2. What should AtekPC have done to successfully implement its PMO?
Industry Background
- Proliferation of mobile phones, PDAs and web-based
applications slowed PC popularity.
- Industry was undergoing a wave of
consolidation as cost control and scale
became more important.
Company Background
- Established in 1984, 210 full-time employees, 200
part-time employees.
- 2006 sales = $1.9 Billion.
- Dealing with an industry moving from Growth stage
to Maturing stage.
- Strategic Planning Office established to propose
business changes.
- SPO initiated PMO effort, focused on IT projects,
with plans to become Enterprise PMO.
IT at AtekPC
- PMO was introduced to provide standardization in
managing IT projects.
- Pre-PMO (2007) IT projects are managed by development staff
(Lead Analysts).
- Used informal approach to projects = rapid response to user requests.
- Struggled with changing industry that required larger, more complex projects involving
multiple functional areas, which was overtaxing current management methods.
PMO Mission
- Formal documentation and plans for PMO did not exist.
- The purpose was to have consistent project practices.
- Responsibilities limited to IT projects.
- Two categories of duties:
o Project Focused (consulting, mentoring, and training) ** Primary means used to
prove PMO merit;
o Enterprise Oriented (portfolio management, PM standards, methods, and tools).
- Limitations:
o Shortage of PMO expert resources;
o Staff consisted of: PMO director + 3 contract project managers.
- Project charter introduced idea form = used to prioritize projects.
- PMO responsibilities:
o Establish, publish, and disseminate project practices, standards and tools;
o Add Later Portfolio Management & Archiving of projects for knowledge sharing.
- Authority provided by CIO AFTER the PMO had proven itself:
o Authority being developed bottom-up;
o No plan to enforce usage at the enterprise level.
PMO Organization
- 2 Models:
o PMO-Heavy: Full staff of project managers responsible for all IT projects.
o PMO-Light: Minimal staff of experts working through internal project managers to
perform responsibilities of PMO.
- Manufacturing Systems Manager (Gardner) wanted to maintain control of projects and
assign a Project Manager from the PMO to follow his directions.
- Heavy vs. Light created tensions.
Culture
- Unaccustomed to consistent, disciplined process & standards.
- Viewed PMO as administrative overhead.
- Saw PMO as getting in the way of real work.
- If we get too rigid, it will fail.
- Knowledge barriers - little to no experience with formal project management practices.
- No consensus among senior management concerning the degree to which project
management was an integral part of the change process.
- Director of Applications Development (Steinberg) previously attempted to implement a
standard software development methodology but failed
culture not right for disciplined approach.
Governance
- No roadmaps or timelines for maturation of the PMO.
- No way to measure performance.
- Proving value is the only way it will work.
- Did not know who PMO was accountable to.
- Current model was temporary.
- Planning Office and Senior VP was committed to more planned, rigorous, project
management approach.
- CIO gave weak support Frankly, I just dont have time right now.
Moving Forward
- How do we move forward without violating culture so much it causes a big red flag?
References
Tse, Eric, Project Management Office External Affairs Strategy, The Project Perfect Whitepaper Collection, 2009,
http://www.projectperfect.com.au/downloads/Info/white-paper-pmo-external-affairs-strategy.pdf
Staff, The Project Management Office In Sync with Strategy, Project Management Institute, 2012,
http://www.pmi.org/business-solutions/~/media/PDF/Business-Solutions/Value-of-PMO-White-Paper-FINAL.ashx
Hauck, Cynthia, How to choose the Right Project Management Office Structure for your Organizations Culture,
Collegiate Project Services, 2007, http://www.collegiateproject.com/articles/PMO.pdf
Lunenberg, Fred C., Understanding Organizational Culture: A Key Leadership Asset, NATIONAL FORUM OF
EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL VOLUME 29, NUMBER 4, 2011,
http://www.nationalforum.com/Electronic%20Journal%20Volumes/Luneneburg,%20Fred%20C%20Understanding
%20Organizational%20Culture%20NFEASJ%20V29%20N4%202011.pdf