With Project Management (PM) such a key function for any external service provider, just what are the secrets to good PM delivery that could differentiate one from another?
To determine these secrets, we picked the brains of Daryl Yeo, from the National Project Management Office at IT Infrastructure and Managed Services provider, Logicalis Australia. What we found showed that Logicalis has a complex system that takes Project Management very seriously.
Yeo revealed the two key secrets to good PM delivery - accountability and governance – plus appropriate PM enablement for the organisation.
Weekly PM review
On the accountability and governance front, Yeo said that Logicalis has a Project Management Office that reviews all projects weekly (regardless of their value) against the key performance indicators of schedule, scope, budget and customer satisfaction.
"If any of these indicators are flagged as in risk, an action plan/mitigation strategy is formed immediately," he said. "In addition to this, we have executive support and buy in by our CEO and CFO. Every month we hold an internal Project Board Review where the project managers report on the health of their projects to the CFO and CEO. All projects are reviewed to ensure they adhere to the Logicalis PMO Standard Practice."
Yeo said that Logicalis also had an 'Enablement Model' for their Project Management.
"In addition to our governance practice, we understand that the success and health of a project is often in the hands of a project manager," he said. "The purpose of the PMO in this regard is to ensure that the project managers have the correct support or environment to manage their projects in accordance to the Logicalis standard."
Project manager enablement
The Logicalis Enablement Model has several aspects. Firstly, project managers are coached in the company's professional services vision so they develop the values to guide them to deliver amazing customer experiences and to aid with decision-making.
The next fundamental building block of the Enablement Model has been designed to ensure project managers have the appropriate tools and templates in place to deliver consistency and effectiveness for the benefit of customers.
Next, the project managers are armed with a set of goals and objectives that align with their department's strategic and organisational objectives. These are broken down to engender meaningful and clear understanding.
With the Logicalis management philosophy that 'the carrot is mightier than the stick' there is a rewards and recognition scheme attached to the project manager's goals and objectives to make success worth their while.
The Logicalis Academy
To ensure that project managers are qualified and appropriately experienced, the company has established a Logicalis Academy where they can build their capabilities and help their careers grow.
Yeo said that Logicalis has a set of processes and procedures, based on industry best practice. Each project manager is taken through Logicalis’ practices and standards to ensure consistency and increased likelihood of successful projects for their customers.
So with all this coaching, training, checking and double-checking, we asked Yeo: 'What can Logicalis clients expect relating to Project Management through Logicalis? What can clients learn from good Project Management?’
Risk and issues assessment
"Logicalis clients can expect their projects to run on time, budget and scope through Project Management," he said. "To have their projects fully owned by Logicalis includes a full risk and issues assessment of their project – this is a proactive way to mitigate potential problems that may impact the success of your project and to ensure that if a problem does eventuate, the most effective solution is collaborated and approved before implementation."
Yeo said that clients can also expect to receive project schedules that consist of timelines and planning to aid future decisions.
"In addition to this, clients will also receive full project reporting and progress reports through the right communication and engagement model throughout the customer's organisation," he said.
And, perhaps the cherry on top of the Logicalis Project Management ice cream sundae: "Clients can expect organisational change management with their projects too," said Yeo.
"Organisational change is about effective people management by taking them through, and on, the journey when introducing a change, regardless of how big or small the project impact is perceived to be on its people."