Nov 8, 2012

First Runner-Up (Again) VSP "Sees" the Way Clear

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Governance, Performance Measurement, Portfolio Management, Strategy Execution | 0 Comments

“VSP must stand for Versatile, Strategic PMO."

There are some companies that apply several times for the PMO of the Year Award without ever making it to semifinalist status. The competition is steep, and the pool of competitors changes from year to year, bringing in each year larger and more noteworthy companies, making it harder to rise through the rounds of judging. That's why it is such a big deal for VSP Vision Care's Enterprise Project Solutions (EPS) to have achieved the top runner-up spot two years in a row. It's proof that they can hold their own against the best in the business ... no matter who is doing the judging or who the competitors are.

Founded in 1955, VSP® Vision Care, a $3 billion VSP Global® (VSP) company, provides vision benefits to over 58 million members throughout North America through a network of 28,000 private-practice doctors and national retail chains. They provide optical services including vision care benefits, designer frames, practice and electronic medical records software, and ophthalmic products and labs solutions. As an indication of how deeply aligned with the business VSP's EPS team is, I was struck by their use of vision-related metaphors in the application essay, to describe their work. 

Vice-President Karen Casey describes their PMO as "a progressive lens" through which the company can focus on work at all levels: project, program or strategy. She described organizational improvements to the PMO as "sharpening the focus" on the areas that deliver the greatest value:

  • Developing a comprehensive, objective approach to prioritizing and funding projects and programs to align with enterprise strategy
  • Evolving the PMO cross-line-of-business governance structures to aid in the assessment, development, and execution of strategy decisions
  • Standardizing and streamlining processes to provide self-direction and accountability to program management teams.

She describes "seeing the impact" of the PMO's improvements in the measurement systems established and set forth a list of the "obstacles in view" as they plan for future improvements. It's no wonder one of the judges enthused "VSP must stand for Versatile, Strategic PMO!"

EPS VP Karen Casey is pictured here, at left, with the EPS core team: Kjell Framnes, Jane Gagnier, Debi Ramirez, Monique Anderson. Readers can check out both of VSP's finalist-worthy application essays in the 2011 and 2012 ebooks, posted here



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