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Taking steps to improve portfolio management process within the organization John Constance MSc in Project Management, University

of Liverpool Summary
Morris and Pinto (2010) said when service providers get to realize they need to increase and improve the quality of the services continuously, they get to accept that its best to assess and strengthen their present project portfolio management capabilities. According to the UK-OGC, they must also understand where they are as an organization, their weakness and strengths in project, program, or portfolio management, and work towards maturity to the highest level possible. This paper analyses the case study of two corporations and how they realized the need to change and did so with organized steps and motivations. The paper examines similarities and difference, improvement steps taken by both corporations, and the current results and benefits from those steps. Case Studies similarities and differences Case Study 1 - American Automobile Association or AAA in Northern California AAA is the USSs largest automobile club. It provides worldwide automobile, travel and financial services. The corporation had the opportunity to improve its return on internal investment; and decided to apply advanced enterprise portfolio management techniques to its program and project investments to decrease costs and achieve greater benefits. The challenges the corporation faced included: How to improve program execution performance How to increase its basic metrics above industry standards How to get executive management and the organization board to understand internal investments returns How to systematically track back original approved documentations from completed projects How to remove perceptions from portfolio management implementation techniques How to perceive the EPMO as a change instrument capable of providing assistance to meet corporate goals How to remove imbalance between commitments and accessible resources; arbitrary increase in project scope, and remove purpose between each program that are not unified Case Study 1 AT&T AT&T is a communication technology business dependent on its internal project and program managers to remain a top class service provider. AT&T wanted to establish common standards, apply project management as a culture and improve competence in its staff and organization. This made AT&T to establish a project management center of excellence targeting over 10,000 project and program managers respectively, their supervisors, and PMP accredited holders, as resource for PM consulting, mentoring, training, processes, tools and techniques. The challenges AT&T faced were as follows: How to fuse the strength of AT&T and its merger partners project management improvement that were focused on different areas

How to support the over 10,000 employees of the corporations project management community. How to support AT&T project managers understand their most important services How to distribute valuable information on a large scale.

The similarities between the two case studies are: Both are worldwide service providers The corporations desired to reduce cost and increase return on investments They both planned to apply project management as a culture The two corporations established project offices to manage its projects and programs Both established its PMOs based on PMBOK and PMI requirements and models The both faced challenges not foreseen or planned for during their improvement cycles The two companies used structured and organized step and solutions to solve challenges Both worked with project and program managers to develop solutions Both obtain results that met projected goals and project performance expectations Both corporations achieved huge return on investment Both firms integrated change management in its project management applications Both corporations had executive management sponsorship

The differences between the two case studies are: One is about a premier communication holding company and the other an automobile, travel financial service company One company (AAA) objective is to improve efficiency and reach investment goals; and the other company (AT&T) wants to use communication leaders to promote leadership in project management AAA established an enterprise project management office (EPMO), whereas, AT&T established a project management center of excellence AAA used research and test on the portfolio management techniques; and AT&T used the process of the PMI (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & control and closing) AT&T saw high returns in resource capacity and professionalism; and AAA achieved high investment returns

Steps taken to improve portfolio management process within their corporation Steps taken by AAA: Established a enterprise portfolio management office Used authenticated portfolio management techniques to address its challenges Created a portfolio management foundation portfolio based on alignment, operational capacity, change impact and capacity, and strategic investments benefits Analyzed organizational challenges Set up control system for efficient resource coordination, project scope determination, and to predict resulting benefits more accurately Coordinated resources efficiently through applied portfolio management techniques

Established change management for consistency in achieving planned schedule and budget targets Aligned internal investment strategy with organization goals Conducted quarterly reviews with program managers, organization sponsors and organization units to reassess if portfolio and corporate strategy remained aligned Improved ROI by applying accountability standards using portfolio management techniques

Steps taken by AT&T: Established project management center for excellence Applied project management method aligned with PMBOK Guide Merged PM practices between AT&T and partner company Received approval from executives and sponsors to implement PMCOE Developed proposal including needs assessment, resource conjecture and financial benefits Reevaluated PMCOE Business Plan alignment with corporate primacies and strategic drivers Determined project management products and services added value to the project management community Executed outlined plan on time, under budget and with quality Submitted business plans goals report each month to senior management, based on surveys and through symposiums, etc. Integrated legacy teams successfully Close the project, and identified lessons learned

The major contrast between the steps both corporations took is as follows: AAA applied portfolio management techniques and AT&T applied project management methodology AAA steps were based on PMBOK Guide and PMI standards, and AT&T based its steps on PMBOK Guide and PPM credentials AAA used its available resources whereas, AT&T designated business units consultants

AT&T specifically founded a PMCOE because it needed to establish common standards, promote project management as organizational culture and to also expand its employee and its corporate competencies. AAA specifically established an EPMO because the company saw the opportunity to increase its program executive performance, reduce cost and increase return on investment. Current PPM or PM situation within the corporations AAA Northern California is currently cutting project scope by 50 percent and achieving almost all project baseline requirements, and over 80 percent of its investment goals. The AT&T has developed more than 20 new project management courses and trained more than 4,190 persons, achieving more than 5,432 training hours. AT&T increased corporate-wide PMP certification by 13%, and 15% increase in PMs PMP accreditation.

Corporations motivation for improving PPM AAA got motivated when it realized it could improve its return on investments; and its established EPMO was delivering over 80 percent savings in investment returns. The AT&T on the other hand, became motivated when it became clear AT&T could become best in-class communication service provider. Benefits achieved by the corporations AAA Northern California cut project scope by 50 percent and achieve over 80 percent of its investment goals. The AT&T developed more than 20 new project management courses, trained more than 4,190 persons, achieved 5,432 training hours, had a 13% increase in corporate-wide PMP certification, and 15% increase PMP accreditations. _____________________________________________________________________________________ References Morris, Peter; Pinto, Jeffrey K. (2010-09-24) The Wiley Guide to Project, Program, and Portfolio Management (Kindle Location 607). John Wiley and Sons. Office of Government Commerce: Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model, Kerzner, Harold (2010), Project Management: Best Practices Achieving Global Excellence 2nd ed. Wiley Publishing