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Topics: Organizational Project Management, PMO, Using PMI Standards, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Implementing PMI standards to non-project situations
Dear PMI Members,

I write to you seeking advice for an initiative that I have been tasked with. My sponsor has asked me to implement PMI-PMP standards (templates, roles and responsibilities, etc...) to vertical functions like the Finance, HR, IT, etc. I have experience in doing this for a 'project' type situations in other companies, but looking for ideas to apply the same to operational type processes. So in case of HR, it can be implementing PMI standards to a process of crediting employee salaries at the end of each month or in case of finance, paying vendor invoices or in procurement, settling vendor payment disputes.

To give you a background, this technology services company currently does not have any project management standards applied but is looking to move to a projectized type organization. They believe that aligning all job functions / processes as per PMI standards is the first step in achieving it.

I look forward to your response and would welcome any suggestions, advice, links to other articles, book recommendations, etc. that can help me.

Thank you all in advance.

Best Regards,

Shrinath
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just to understand more, you are asked to implement PMP within operation structure?
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1 reply by Shrinath Iyengar
Jun 09, 2018 3:36 AM
Shrinath Iyengar
...
Yes. That's what is my issue here. I have been told that not all aspects of the Process and Knowledge Areas need to be designed and implemented. Only the relevant ones.
Jun 09, 2018 3:32 AM
Replying to Kevin Drake
...
just to understand more, you are asked to implement PMP within operation structure?
Yes. That's what is my issue here. I have been told that not all aspects of the Process and Knowledge Areas need to be designed and implemented. Only the relevant ones.
...
1 reply by Danford Mapp
Mar 25, 2021 10:14 AM
Danford Mapp
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Hello Shrinath,
I think that aspects of PM would be relevant to operational matters also e.g. Planning, Cost Management, Schedule Management, Communications, Stakeholder Management and Risk Management come readily to mind.
You need to break down the operation into main processes groups and then try to create WBS for these processes groups.
Your job mainly will be to create a systematic approach to the process I believe in this case. the challenge here will be is to sit with management and get what they are expecting exactly.
I usually prefer Agile approach for this type but you still can use PMP hybrid.
A lot of flowcharts will be involved here. Have you ever been involved in ISO 9001 consultancy and documents? Make use of that approach(ISO 9001) if the system exists if not then break it into main process groups but define your outcome(deliverable/expectations) before you dig so deep).
Look at the relevant groups first like procurement and start with clear areas ( knowledge areas)
...
1 reply by Shrinath Iyengar
Jun 09, 2018 5:00 AM
Shrinath Iyengar
...
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your advice. I was thinking of prioritizing the top 5 functions for each vertical (lets say candidate recruitment for HR) and further break it down to key activities that take place and map it across the PMI process groups and knowledge areas with defined inputs, roles and responsibilities, deliverables, templates, checklists and tools. (are we talking about the same thing?? If not, what is your opinion about this approach)

And what you pointed out about managing expectations and defining outcome is a very important consideration for me and I need to set the baselines correct before I start.

Best regards,

Shrinath
Jun 09, 2018 3:47 AM
Replying to Kevin Drake
...
You need to break down the operation into main processes groups and then try to create WBS for these processes groups.
Your job mainly will be to create a systematic approach to the process I believe in this case. the challenge here will be is to sit with management and get what they are expecting exactly.
I usually prefer Agile approach for this type but you still can use PMP hybrid.
A lot of flowcharts will be involved here. Have you ever been involved in ISO 9001 consultancy and documents? Make use of that approach(ISO 9001) if the system exists if not then break it into main process groups but define your outcome(deliverable/expectations) before you dig so deep).
Look at the relevant groups first like procurement and start with clear areas ( knowledge areas)
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your advice. I was thinking of prioritizing the top 5 functions for each vertical (lets say candidate recruitment for HR) and further break it down to key activities that take place and map it across the PMI process groups and knowledge areas with defined inputs, roles and responsibilities, deliverables, templates, checklists and tools. (are we talking about the same thing?? If not, what is your opinion about this approach)

And what you pointed out about managing expectations and defining outcome is a very important consideration for me and I need to set the baselines correct before I start.

Best regards,

Shrinath
"operational type processes". Have you considered Lean and Kanban? Why is the organization trying to apply PMI standards to non-project endeavors?
Shrinath -

I'd second Sante's concerns. While we all love project management, treating everything as a project is as bad as treating nothing as a project. Certain competencies and tools might be portable (e.g. qualitative risk assessment, Pareto charts) but you can't apply the processes and many of the tools to operational contexts.

Kiron
Thanks Sante and Kiron.
First thing to understand is this: each person in this world perform project mangement from the time they wake up to the time then go to bed then project management is something natural to people life. Second, you are talking about "siloes" and project management is a set of functions that integrates the whole organization to create something that is a solution to business problem. That is critical to understand. The last thing to take into account is the way you will follow: PMI? PRINCE2 (which is a method)? GPM? etc. That will get some type of formality to the fact I stated in my first sentence.
Jun 09, 2018 3:36 AM
Replying to Shrinath Iyengar
...
Yes. That's what is my issue here. I have been told that not all aspects of the Process and Knowledge Areas need to be designed and implemented. Only the relevant ones.
Hello Shrinath,
I think that aspects of PM would be relevant to operational matters also e.g. Planning, Cost Management, Schedule Management, Communications, Stakeholder Management and Risk Management come readily to mind.
Project management is all about deliverables. In an operational context you would identify specific deliverables and use project management methodologies to effectively achieve those deliverables.

Although day-to-day living is operational in nature, getting dressed in the morning is a deliverable. You break it down into simple tasks (WBS), apply resources, time, cost and quality management and presto - you are using PMI processes.

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