by Cyndee Miller
How did Fannie Mae go from bailout to business transformation? In part through an extraordinary enterprise project management office, 2019’s PMO of the Year.
In the wake of the U.S. housing crisis in 2007—and a rescue by the U.S. Treasury Department—Fannie Mae set out to improve its business model to better serve the housing industry. In particular, leaders at the government-sponsored mortgage backer knew they had to confront its technological shortcomings.
Enter the EPMO, dedicated to modernizing the mortgage process through digital transformation. Part of that process included an enterprise-wide move to agile: Today, teams manage more than 90 percent of projects with it.
And PMO leaders have the numbers to prove their progress: Over the last three years, the EPMO has increased its releases by more than 160 percent, while also reducing incidents by more than 65 percent.
"PMOs are more relevant than ever," said Fannie Mae’s Amilda Gjecovi, in accepting the award at PMO Symposium.
Her colleague Joyce Walsh commended the other two finalists: McDonald’s Corp. and Saudi Aramco. “I am humbled by the competition,” she said. “They are truly impressive leaders and have made a real impact in their organizations.”
No doubt. Here’s a quick look:
McDonald’s has been serving up some serious digital transformation. The company’s push to develop and install a mobile ordering technology across seven countries in just 12 months was a 2018 PMI Project of the Year finalist. A year after project completion, global sales at McDonald’s jumped 4.5 percent. Behind that big win: the fast-food giant’s Global Technology PMO (GTPMO), focused squarely on digital-driven growth. Since then, the GTPMO has helped McDonald’s stake its claim as a true digital leader, overseeing the next generation of customer relationship management projects, beefing up programs to find, retain and develop tech talent, and moving to a full-on agile transformation.
Even as one of the world’s largest oil and gas enterprises, Saudi Aramco isn’t content to just stay put. So when the company’s PMO noticed a gap in its capital expenditures compared to similar projects at other industry leaders, it launched a range of initiatives to generate more efficiencies across project management processes and delivery. The payoff: A 2017 study of projects over US$10 million revealed the implementation of 10 value improvement practices resulted in cost avoidance of more than US$1 billion for the capitol program—and improved project cost performance by 11 percent.