As the first quarter of 2017 ends, many CIOs and senior IT leaders are already shaking their heads, wondering how they’ll meet the demands of their customers, retain their staff, and maintain their edge. Although innovation, rapid development, and forward-thinking strategies are all critically important, the foundation of IT success is and always will be good governance. Your PMO, vendor relationships, and governance model are some of the most important vehicles providing the structure and processes to effectively navigate and manage the world in which we work.
Roadmap to better governance
For the average IT organization, one in six projects goes so badly it threatens to affect corporate stability. One of the primary reasons this is such a common occurrence is that companies don’t devote enough time and resources to ensuring their PMO and governance strategies are mature and effective.
Establish and mature the PMO - First and foremost, a well-functioning PMO supports a robust demand management process capable of assessing the demand, risk, and capacity of the proposed and ongoing efforts. Without a mature PMO making fact-based decisions, it becomes an art rather than a science. When a significant part of your company’s budget is on the line, this is simply unacceptable. By working to streamline processes and implementing more rigorous, fact-based decision-making strategies, companies can improve their project success rate, reduce costs, and foster innovation.
Implement project behavioral coaching - Project behavioral coaching helps companies improve their success rate by targeting the underlying foundation of a successful project: people. By coaching the humans behind the project to think more analytically and encourage behaviors that promote success, companies can reduce risk and improve outcomes.
Leverage project analytics - Decisions should be made objectively and supported by hard data whenever possible. A critical step in ensuring that the PMO is equipped with the tools it needs to lead projects effectively, the company needs to implement systems to capture and analyze data. This means employing new innovations like IoT and predictive analytics.
Formalize the governance process - IT leaders must identify all governance objectives, procedures, and challenges from the top down in order to ensure that the team is working cohesively. It is extremely important that business leaders understand and contribute to project planning and governance to make sure the project is aligned with business goals. By considering all key stakeholders and documenting clear governance processes, companies can better organize their operations and decision making.
Vendor management is critical - Governance can mean many things, but one of the most important components is good vendor and relationship management. In today’s highly decentralized IT world, effectively managing technology often means managing vendors. Harnessing the value and innovation of your delivery partners is a key win of a vendor management office. Understanding how to be a good service provider and integrator to your business partners provides the foundation for meeting expectations at a minimum and opening the door to exceed expectations.
The IT department’s role in the modern workplace is rapidly changing. Technical skills and infrastructure are not as important as they once were. Instead, IT leaders that want to be able to deliver the service their customers need and maintain their edge in the coming years need to develop stronger systems of project management, governance, and vendor management. By implementing strategies that allow them to make decisions more effectively, respond to challenges more rapidly, and develop better relationships with vendors, companies will stay competitive and be prepared for the future.
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Tony is a results-oriented IT executive with more than 25 years of experience across many IT disciplines and extensive business management, consulting and P&L experience. He stands out for his business acumen, vision, decisive leadership and an eye for detail to build stakeholder confidence and partnerships.