- Kelly Block, AVP for Administrative IT Services, University of Illinois Central Administration
- Michael Hites, CIO, Southern Methodist University
- Sarah Sage, IT Project Manager, Southern Methodist University
- Cynthia Cobb, Director, Portfolio and Process Management, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Teena Newman, Director of PMO, Southern Methodist University
Nice packet of supplemental information was provided for participants of this workshop.
IT Planning in Higher Education: pretty new to campuses. We have some catching up to do compared to our peers.
Strategy sets a destination, governance provides a route.
- Allocation: who, why, how
- Defines: processes, components, structures, participants
- …for making decisions regarding the use of IT
ITG is useful for creation of scorecards; mandatory versus customer-requested project hours (shows technical debt and staffing levels); on-time performance (on budget/off budget); opportunities for vertical and horizontal collaboration and communication encourages better decisions and improves relationships; transparency.
Positive Factors for ITG Effectiveness
- Active design of ITG
- Ability of ITG participants to describe ITG accurately
- Frequency of participation, providing input, etc.
Governance, Portfolio and Project Management
Group discussion on participant’s challenges and successes with IT Governance and PPM
- What works well?
- What are areas for improvement?
- How would you like to see things change?
What works well?
- Transparency: post minutes to LMS
- Make sure it’s customer-focused
- Communication: “roadshow” describing why governance process is useful and necessary.
What are areas for improvement?
- Informative versus action-oriented
- Improving metrics: urgency (mandated versus anecdotal need) and measurement of actual impact
- “Whole institution mindset”
- Managing sheer volume of projects & resources
A repeatable, rational process to collect ideas, select initiatives, prioritize among them.
- Purpose & Scope: what needs to be governed? Topics, functions, summary topics; units & colleges; strategy/operations/service levels, performance measurement. Definitions will add clarity to the process! Identify the subject material.
- Participants: determine who should advise versus who should make decisions; consider existing groups/positions/functions. If things are run through a transparent process, then they’re easily defensible. Determine specific roles (advisory/decision-making, group sponsors, chairs/leads/owners, governance office/portfolio management). Key element is how the structure connects everyone and connects to other decision making processes. Over time, it’s important to identify/review/repurpose/dissolve committees.
- Decision-making: set specific decision points; set policy & standards; project selection & prioritization; resource allocation (resources have to be connected to decision points, incentives for participation). Has access to resource pools. Funding model components for consideration: base funding for enterprise/campus services; project funding for one-time initiatives; ancillary funding for college/department level services; fee for service (use-based chargeback). Need clear review and decision points for projects. Define a process for exceptions. Projects that are 10%+/- on their estimates go through a exception/review process. Have a mechanism to limit our work-in-progress. Review every few years.
- Communication & Coordination: transparency about the process, requires dedicated staff!
Collection of projects grouped together to facilitate effective mgmt of that work in order to meet strategic business objectives. Main activities of a portfolio manager are:
- Facilitating project selection and prioritization
- Scheduling and resource management
- Managing (aka monitoring and controlling) the portfolio
- Providing project management standards and guidance
Other activities include:
- Facilitate ITG; manage resources; manage portfolio; ensure project success.
- Portfolio manager has lots of activities! Many are centered around communication.
Spent some time reviewing forms and processes
- Project proposals
- Project summary and rating
- Portfolio strategy and rating
- Priority details
- Budget Impact and Ranking for New Projects
- Estimating costs & benefits
- Sponsor buy-in to process
- Keeping up/not becoming a bottleneck
- Not becoming too heavy
- “We don’t have time for this” argument
0 to PPM
Work > Portfolio > Projects > Systems
- ID all the types of work done your org
- Define high-level categories (“buckets,” split between project & operations)
- Start with PMBOK definition, then customize for your org
- Numbers are just a guideline
- Projects for PM activity get broken into different levels (“bracketing” of time, hours, risk)
- Inventory will allow you to populate your portfolio
- Assign ownership; institute status/reporting/guidelines/cycles; set expectations from upper management for reporting
- Time reporting: record effort expended to make assessments (resource availability, project health, scheduling new work, staffing levels)
- Controls flow of work
- Establish proposal template, clear process for submission, review groups, etc.
- Set up regular reporting cycles
- Show value quickly
- Keep it simple at first!
- Set expectation that this is the system of record
- Establish prioritization and scheduling process; communicate priorities; regular review cycle; tools & reports
- Select PMO model: supportive, controlling, directive, optional service provider; staffing options, executive support, culture, evaluate org pain points, identify states
- Develop standards: best if designed by group; lighter the better; use PMI (or other org) as a starting point. Develop as a group! Have a PM toolkit, SDLC standards. Build the PMO! Hire discipline over personality. Adopt systems as appropriate to your processes (Box, TeamDynamix, whatever you need).
Origination > Initiation & Planning > Execution > Closing
- Origination: document business case & project proposal for review & approval.
- Initiation: develop project charter & communication plan; formalize & communicate goals, deliverables, participants and roles.
- Planning: Develop detailed and complete work plan, including finalizing tasks, assigning resources, setting schedules, and gathering estimates.
- Execution: do the work; execute, monitor and control the project and communication plan.
- Closing: tie up loose ends, hand off results, assess project performance and release team.
Agile: value delivered iteratively, high trust collaboration, self-organizing teams, focus on MVP
Hybrid: any combination of PMM, work measurable and focused on milestones and/or key deliverables.