Nov 1, 2012

The PMO as "Financial Advisor" to the Enterprise: A Glimpse into Verizon Wireless' Award-Winning Marketing PMO

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Project & Program Management, Governance, Performance Measurement, Portfolio Management, Project Management Events, Project Management Office (PMO), Project Management Research, Site News | 1 Comment

Mission accomplished! Four ambitious business goals were surpassed.

We had planned to showcase a profile of Verizon Wireless Marketing PMO last Thursday on International Project Management Day, but those plans were ... well, overcome by events. It’s doubtful that anyone on the east coast was reading project management blogs last week, anyway, even if they did have electricity. And the folks at the winning company – whose headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ was impacted by the storm, along with millions of customers from North Carolina to New England –had other things to think about.

Although I’m sure Verizon’s teams in the field and at the office are still working round the clock, perhaps this week they can take a moment to celebrate with us their selection as 2012 PMO of the Year. With over 94 million customers, Verizon Wireless can truly be said to have “a household name,” so its marketing department surely deserves a round of applause.

Verizon Wireless has shown its executive commitment to a project management culture by funding and growing the PMO every year since 2006. The PMO’s mission is to be “the financial advisor and delivery arm for the strategies of the organization.”

In 2008, in order to diagnose the gaps that hindered the organization in achieving its goals, the Marketing PMO conducted an OPM3 assessment that was used as the basis for the improvement plan in the following years. The assessor, said Theo Bell, VP, PMO, responding to a question from the award presentation webinar audience, was “A certified assessor with 20 years of expertise in project, program and portfolio management, [who] also possess skills in organization development, process re-engineering and business transformation.”

A key factor in the PMO’s success has been a best-practice knowledge sharing program with Siemens, Intel, Samsung, and several other large organizations in 2010. They hosted and participated in discovery sessions and then implemented the best practices that fit their needs, resulting in an effective use of lessons learned and improved organizational project management maturity. This use of benchmarking for organizational improvement was singled out by the PMO of the Year judges for special recognition.

In 2010, the PMO began implementing benefits realization in the enterprise. The new product development performance and governance leader built an “as is” and a “to be” process model showing how Verizon Wireless was currently handling benefits realization, as well as an improved model of handling it. She built a “to be” model that outlined the role and capabilities required by all aspects of the business.

The innovation for the “as is” and “to be” model was the creation of a 6-foot by 3-foot diagram that depicted a Verizon Wireless customer’s experience if the organization does not build products using sound business and customer experience data. This graphic was posted in the VP’s office and marketing leadership invited to discuss the challenges of benefit realization. (The graphic is included in the PMO of the Year ebook downloadable here.)

MIssion Accomplished

By the end of 2010 the initial goals for the PMO set out at its inception had been achieved or surpassed:

  • Cycle time had been reduced by 58% despite the increasing complexity of projects.
  • Top projects were being delivered on time 100% of the time.
  • All other projects were delivered on time 80% of the time.
  • A manual process provided 100% alignment of organizational resources to top prioritized projects.
  • Prioritization of the entire enterprise’s work (over a US$1 billion portfolio investment) is completed every month.

Said VP Theo Bell confidently, “The organization has invested its money, and in 2012 the PMO will show realized benefits where promised.”

That was a month before Hurricane Sandy, of course. We’re rooting for Verizon Wireless as they recover from the storm – while knowing that having advanced project management expertise within the organization certainly can’t hurt their recovery efforts.

You can read more about this stellar PMO, and watch the award presentation ceremony here.

PIctured here are PM Solutions CEO J. Kent Crawford presenting the PMO of the Year trophy to Verizon Wireless Marketing CMO Tami Erwin and VP, PMO Theo Bell.


(No ratings yet)

1 Comment on 2012 PMO of the Year Winner Profile: Verizon Wireless Marketing PMO

Lonnie Webb, PMP says:

Link back: [ ]

Posted on March 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Leave a Comment

search blog:

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Most Recent Posts
Blog Authors

view all authors

Blog Archives

Other project management blog sources: