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Topics: Organizational Culture, Organizational Project Management, Strategy
Triangulation on Project Management Department Service Offerings for Small/Medium Family Office
Anonymous
Hi Everyone,

I’m working on an assessment/gap analysis of my company's project management department and the services we are currently offering to the other departments within the office. The goal of the project is essentially to define the gold standard of project management service offerings, assess that against our current state, and then identify the perceived gaps. Some of the issues we continue to experience year over year include a lack of engagement from departments in more SME required spaces, such as Trust or Investments, perception that project management amounts to a lot of operational overhead, and low usage stats for project planning out of our project management tool. I’d love to understand from others how our service offerings compare to other project management offices, and any gaps/opportunities you might see.

About my company: We are a small/medium family office with approximately 150 people.

Our goals/services:

1. Enablement & Training
Provide Process and project management expertise and training to enable efficient operation and project excellence.

1.1Process Development & Optimization: To establish, implement, or enhance pre-existing processes in order to improve operational efficiency, effectiveness, or risk-reduction.

1.2 Manage Projects & Portfolios: Align PM department resources to manage key initiatives excellently

1.3 Project Methodology Training: Provide Project Management training, tips, and tricks to internal team and broader department to ensure the company is able to manage small-scale projects without the help of PM department.

2. Planning and Resourcing: Provide department wide project prioritization services and associated resources for must-do initiatives

2.1 Annual Planning To meet the Owner's intent for the organization by ensuring resources (people, budget) are allocated to the highest priorities.

3. Infrastructure and Reporting: Provide tools and technology to enable the department to look down on their processes and projects and manage associated information & risks

3.1 Management Reporting: Provide Department-wide Metrics & Projects reporting capabilities in order to paint a pointillist picture of department performance and pop items that aren't going well

3.2 Project Management Tool: Provide Administrative Services and Management of Office-wide PM tool to ensure excellent user experience
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In response to your statement, "Some of the issues we continue to experience year over year include a lack of engagement from departments in more SME required spaces..." I have a few questions:

- How much value do your customers find in the goals/services you listed?
- Do the stated goals/values support the company's objectives? How? Does your leadership recognize this?
- Are there any other goals/services, in the realm of PPM, that your customers or leadership have expressed interest in or would find valuable?

Lack of engagement from specific departments may be an indicator that you are not addressing their needs. What are you doing to identify the source of their resistance?
...
2 replies by Aaron Porter and anonymous
May 09, 2022 11:27 AM
anonymous
...
Thanks for the response Aaron.

The purpose of this project is to uncover answers to some of these questions. I have a handful of meetings on the calendar with the department heads to dig deeper into their specific needs and what they perceive to be the gaps, especially for the areas of the business that do not engage our team. Those conversations should answer question #1 & #3.

Our goals are tied to our company's objectives. Each year in Q4, our leadership comes up with an overarching goal/theme for the upcoming year, as well as a list of top initiatives. Following that, we determine our goals, ensuring they are supportive of the overall org goals. These goals are reviewed with leadership and approved.
May 17, 2022 10:12 AM
Aaron Porter
...
It sounds like you've got a good start. As you work on getting answers, look for patterns in the behavior of those in the areas you are talking to. Is their lack of engagement due to 1) a lack of awareness of their need to engage, 2) a lack of desire to engage, 3) a lack of knowledge of how to engage, or 4) some other reason?

If, as you say, the "goals are reviewed with leadership and approved," these other groups should be aware of the importance of what is being done, which raises a question about workload. My experience is that there is frequently a push to "do more" (sometimes with less), resulting in organizations trying to complete more work than they can reasonably accomplish in the time expected, and then they are asked to work with other organizations to accomplish objectives that they don't feel are as important as their own. If this is your situation, you can come up with suggestions for solutions, but you won't be able to resolve it on your own.
Anonymous
May 09, 2022 10:57 AM
Replying to Aaron Porter
...
In response to your statement, "Some of the issues we continue to experience year over year include a lack of engagement from departments in more SME required spaces..." I have a few questions:

- How much value do your customers find in the goals/services you listed?
- Do the stated goals/values support the company's objectives? How? Does your leadership recognize this?
- Are there any other goals/services, in the realm of PPM, that your customers or leadership have expressed interest in or would find valuable?

Lack of engagement from specific departments may be an indicator that you are not addressing their needs. What are you doing to identify the source of their resistance?
Thanks for the response Aaron.

The purpose of this project is to uncover answers to some of these questions. I have a handful of meetings on the calendar with the department heads to dig deeper into their specific needs and what they perceive to be the gaps, especially for the areas of the business that do not engage our team. Those conversations should answer question #1 & #3.

Our goals are tied to our company's objectives. Each year in Q4, our leadership comes up with an overarching goal/theme for the upcoming year, as well as a list of top initiatives. Following that, we determine our goals, ensuring they are supportive of the overall org goals. These goals are reviewed with leadership and approved.
Your list is comprehensive from my perspective. I hope your meetings with dept heads brings you value.
May 09, 2022 10:57 AM
Replying to Aaron Porter
...
In response to your statement, "Some of the issues we continue to experience year over year include a lack of engagement from departments in more SME required spaces..." I have a few questions:

- How much value do your customers find in the goals/services you listed?
- Do the stated goals/values support the company's objectives? How? Does your leadership recognize this?
- Are there any other goals/services, in the realm of PPM, that your customers or leadership have expressed interest in or would find valuable?

Lack of engagement from specific departments may be an indicator that you are not addressing their needs. What are you doing to identify the source of their resistance?
It sounds like you've got a good start. As you work on getting answers, look for patterns in the behavior of those in the areas you are talking to. Is their lack of engagement due to 1) a lack of awareness of their need to engage, 2) a lack of desire to engage, 3) a lack of knowledge of how to engage, or 4) some other reason?

If, as you say, the "goals are reviewed with leadership and approved," these other groups should be aware of the importance of what is being done, which raises a question about workload. My experience is that there is frequently a push to "do more" (sometimes with less), resulting in organizations trying to complete more work than they can reasonably accomplish in the time expected, and then they are asked to work with other organizations to accomplish objectives that they don't feel are as important as their own. If this is your situation, you can come up with suggestions for solutions, but you won't be able to resolve it on your own.
As far as identifying gaps, you may gain more leverage if you have an external consultant do the analysis. Not only, will it be an independent review but you will also gain insight into areas for which you might have a bias. Sometimes we just can't see what's right in front of us.

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