Project Management Central

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Topics: Ethics and Organizational Culture, PMO, Schedule Management
Recommended Workload ratio:Project vs Regular duties
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I work for a functional organization that has recently started trying to embrace project management. However, there is a struggle to effectively allocate enough time to do project work while still performing tasks associated with their regular jobs/departments.
As it is we struggle to find meeting times that work for project teams and deadlines are constantly being rescheduled because 'they don't have time for project work'.
I am looking to make recommendations to our executive team regarding what the balance should be. For example, 1-2 hours/day should be reserved for project team members to work on projects.
Has anyone had experience establishing a PMO and transitioning a functional organization?
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Am I correct in assuming your colleagues perform operational work that prevents them from doing project work? If so, reassign as may people as your executives will allow to one or more dedicated project teams that won't be responsible for performing any operational work. This is the only way you can reasonably expect to make progress on a project since operational work will constantly derail your project work, as you've already seen.
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1 reply by Jason Cusack
Aug 20, 2018 12:56 PM
Jason Cusack
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Hi Eric,

Yes, the operational work comes first. I am looking to recommend that more time be dedicated to projects. Not sure if that means additional staff to handle the operational items. There is no shortage of projects to come but I suspect it will be a hard sell to pull people off operations completely or to hire more people to back fill. I guess what I was looking for was confirmation of what I already believed, that we need to do a better job of prioritizing project work rather than have staff try to juggle both.
Network:247



Hi Jason,

I have the experience to develop a Project management methodology to follow in an organization that I worked. In that case I didn't have that trouble, because the CEO was commited with the Project management transition. I guess you should ask the commitment from your CEO or findout a sponsor with the authority to support you on this transition that of course is not as easy as everybody think.
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Agree with Eric
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I think you should have staff management plan to arrange these people and use HR management plan to show the roles and manage them!!!
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Jason, why did they 'start to embrace project management'? And what can they invest into it? A PMO or a single project team would certainly help to leverage this investment and change.

From the perspective of staff, projects may just be a an additional burden, increasing multitasking, less focus on operational task and worse feedback from customers.

Many companies I saw chose the way to separate operational and project work into different teams. It is a business decision and not an individual's. If there is an important project, assign a fulltime PM and core team.

With longterm product oriented work and particularly in IT, the recent tendency is to look into DevOps. DevOps requires good teaming and a common portfolio mgmt which followed by all.
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1 reply by Jason Cusack
Aug 20, 2018 12:48 PM
Jason Cusack
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Hi Thomas,

We are a small local credit union trying to compete against national banks. In the past, projects have been seen as important but low priority, as serving our members has to come first. Communication was poor, and projects were more reactive than proactive. We want to change that by looking at best practices. I've moved into the role of full time PM to help the organization be better at projects overall. I have been able to gain a little traction with new tools, processes and expectations with managers and executives but the biggest hurdle is still the struggle to pull staff away from their primary roles to work on projects.
I'll take a closer look at DevOps to see if there is anything I can use.
Network:1013



Jason -

Regardless of the project power structure of the company, there is a benefit in focusing people on their work. What this means is that if you can quantify how much of a given team is needed to work on projects, you are better off dedicating that many team members to project work and have the remainder do operations than to try to get them to multitask.

Kiron
Network:1942



Valid points above. Additionally, if a project is established with a timeline, I would assume that the individuals have an allocation to the project and that the project timeline is based on such. Correct? If that allocation is not respected, the projects will never get done.

The project manager should work with the team members to understand where the struggles lie. Maybe they simply need protecting from those outside sources.
Network:104407



Jason,

I go with previous comments dedicate resource to project is far more effective. You could with our team rotate for a project assignment to the operation and back to the project. That makes people more understanding of the overall picture and better collaborate.
Network:0


Aug 18, 2018 5:15 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
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Jason, why did they 'start to embrace project management'? And what can they invest into it? A PMO or a single project team would certainly help to leverage this investment and change.

From the perspective of staff, projects may just be a an additional burden, increasing multitasking, less focus on operational task and worse feedback from customers.

Many companies I saw chose the way to separate operational and project work into different teams. It is a business decision and not an individual's. If there is an important project, assign a fulltime PM and core team.

With longterm product oriented work and particularly in IT, the recent tendency is to look into DevOps. DevOps requires good teaming and a common portfolio mgmt which followed by all.
Hi Thomas,

We are a small local credit union trying to compete against national banks. In the past, projects have been seen as important but low priority, as serving our members has to come first. Communication was poor, and projects were more reactive than proactive. We want to change that by looking at best practices. I've moved into the role of full time PM to help the organization be better at projects overall. I have been able to gain a little traction with new tools, processes and expectations with managers and executives but the biggest hurdle is still the struggle to pull staff away from their primary roles to work on projects.
I'll take a closer look at DevOps to see if there is anything I can use.
Network:0


Aug 17, 2018 11:19 PM
Replying to Eric Simms
...
Am I correct in assuming your colleagues perform operational work that prevents them from doing project work? If so, reassign as may people as your executives will allow to one or more dedicated project teams that won't be responsible for performing any operational work. This is the only way you can reasonably expect to make progress on a project since operational work will constantly derail your project work, as you've already seen.
Hi Eric,

Yes, the operational work comes first. I am looking to recommend that more time be dedicated to projects. Not sure if that means additional staff to handle the operational items. There is no shortage of projects to come but I suspect it will be a hard sell to pull people off operations completely or to hire more people to back fill. I guess what I was looking for was confirmation of what I already believed, that we need to do a better job of prioritizing project work rather than have staff try to juggle both.

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