Nov 14, 2014

The Process Side of EPPM Tool Implementations

Posted by Allen Young in Culture & Change Management, Project & Program Management, Portfolio Management | 0 Comments

Data consistency is the name of the game.

While organizational change issues are, in my opinion, the most significant component of an EPPM tool implementation, the process issues are a close second. By process, I mean at two levels:

First level process

The overall project and portfolio management discipline level, which the organization has adopted for itself. This includes:

  • Project management methodology, which typically is the umbrella over other product-based methodologies such as waterfall, agile, iterative, RUP, Six Sigma, and so forth
  • Foundational project management processes covering time management (including creating and maintaining a project schedule), cost management (budgets and cost tracking, and how the project level interweaves with the departmental level), scope management (including scope change control), and so forth—essentially all 10 knowledge areas of PMI’s PMBOK® Guide.
  • Foundational portfolio management processes, such as project intake, project prioritization scheme, portfolio steering committees, etc.
  • The PMO and all governance processes associated with it.
  • Organizational change management practices.

Closely coupled with all of this, of course, is the organization’s overall project and portfolio management maturity. All too often, companies jump headfirst into the EPPM tool swimming pool before these processes are in place and are being followed. In an ideal world, companies would hold off on purchasing and implementing an EPPM tool until they were at least a solid level 3 (Organizational Standards and Institutionalized Process, in PM Solutions terms) out of 5 (Optimized Process) on the maturity scale.  You wouldn’t knowingly build your new house on top of quicksand, but companies that are still at level 1 (Initial Process, or Ad Hoc) are essentially trying to do that—and then amazingly are surprised when the house quickly sinks—which is about when the tool is typically abandoned and blamed for the failure. Level 2 (Structured Process and Standards) is better, though what separates level 2 from level 3 is that EVERYONE is consistently following them at level 3—and recall from part 2 of this blog series that data consistency is the name of the game with EPPM tool success.

Second level process

These include the specific standards, processes and procedures that govern exactly how the EPPM tool should be utilized for the company. Ideally, these should work in concert with the first level processes, and provide greater detail. For example, a first level process concerning time management would include building and creating a project schedule, though it would not be tool-specific. It would include things such as working with the project team to create a WBS, the number of levels the WBS should have, granularity of the tasks underneath the WBS, recommended task duration limits, guidelines on assigning resources to tasks, when to set a baseline, how and when to include scope changes, applying actuals to the schedule and computing variance, and so forth. A detailed procedure at the second level would cover things specific to the EPPM tool, including but not limited to who adds the initial schedule shell to the system, access permissions, when to use certain activity types, when to use certain duration types, guidelines on using data constraints, baseline types, frequency of applying actuals and recalculating the schedule, user-defined fields, adding dependencies between projects, etc. Another example of a second level process would be for timesheets: how they are generated, when they are due, who approves/rejects them and when, how to add tasks to the timesheet that are missing, what to do when the timesheet is rejected, etc.

Next Up: Building the Process Foundation for EPPM Tools


(6 votes. Average: 2.5 out of 5)


No comments yet. Be the first one!

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: