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Embedding best practice in programme and change management in a newly decentralised organisation

Afiniti provided an onsite team to work with the client to design and establish PMO processes and procedures; in addition bringing specialist services for branding, communications and SharePoint development to augment the PMO solution.

Our client is a devolved geographical unit within a 33,000 employee organisation with a 5 year strategic change budget of £1.6 bn. Changes to the organisational model relating to responsibilities between head office departments and local management meant that local managers needed increased accountability and therefore needed to have a much greater degree of visibility and control for programmes and projects. Internal processes had evolved over a number of years, often in isolation from industry best practice developments in programme and project methodologies. Although the client envisaged a Programme Management Office that would provide a focal point for governance, they did not have the required in-house expertise to design and implement a solution.

Afiniti was contracted for a three month engagement to establish a new PMO for the organisation. This was to include a definition of the services to be provided, a detailed definition of those services, definition of the processes and procedures to be put in place and then the initial implementation into the organisation.

Our Solution

The onsite team:

  • Conducted an exercise to analyse requirements and objectives for the PMO against an industry model to establish the scope and level of services to be provided, the level of control to be applied and the problems they are looking to address. This was achieved  via a number of 1-1 interviews and workshops
  • Developed high level definitions and processes for each scoped area. It was essential to have these statements and processes agreed as these formed the basis for more detailed documentation and a supporting tool set
  • Developed detailed processes and procedures and the supporting tool set to support the defined services
  • Developed the governance model to underpin monitoring and decision-making for programmes and projects under the PMO‘s sphere of control
  • Created brand and SharePoint site to provide central repository for key documents, records and process information.

Strong sponsorship provided by the client aided progress and enabled pace with quality deliverables. The approach needed to be collaborative to ensure the continued support for the work at all levels. The implementation of the PMO was done concurrently with organisational changes that altered responsibilities and accountabilities. The sensitive nature of the changes meant that a low key launch was required so the services were seen as an evolution of current thinking rather than a revolutionary change.

Benefits and Outcomes

Afiniti’s work to define the PMO’s processes and organisation enabled:

  • Visibility to devolved management of detailed CAPEX Business Plan;
  • Management dashboard and reports allowing effective governance and decision making
  • Improvements to project initiation processes including escalations to prevent postponement of projects
  • Defined Change Control process and authority levels ensure decision making at correct levels
  • Common repository of control documents including plans, change control records and project initiation documentation ensures visibility and “one version of the truth”.

The broad range of skills provided by Afiniti enabled every aspect of the client’s requirements to be addressed from process design, communications and branding through to SharePoint configuration and implementation.

Afiniti’s experience and ability to analyse and simplify complex issues increased confidence in the benefits to be provided, ensured acceptance of the resultant processes and procedures and allowed the PMO to be established in a far quicker timescale than the client could have managed alone.

Date: July 2014

If you‘d like to know how Afiniti could benefit change within your company, feel free to give us a call on 0845 608 0104