Linda Honour is the PMO Office lead at Allstate and she and her group completely transformed the PMO function at Allstate and has won numerous awards from organizations like Association of Project Management, PMO magazine and more.
We were delighted when she spoke at a recent Leaders Circle luncheon about the lessons learned from this journey
In Part One we learned the incredible challenge she and her team took on, and the first of two key principles she learned, which was:
1. A single independent view of project health
2. The right people, with the right skills, to the right work
Here’s Part Two:
3. Common Role Definitions, Methodologies and Tools.
Since the team came from different delivery sites, they had many different approaches, tools, standards. Linda realized there was no way to create a consensus, so they took a small group and defined the processes and set the standards for everyone. To support the standardized approach, they created a PMO bootcamp. Everyone, including Linda, had to take the PMO Bootcamp.
They also put reporting into place. They found that watching and measuring the reporting got their compliance with the standard from 42 % to over 90% now.
4. Optimized cost structure
Costs went down over the three year period and their efficiency went up. They measured total cost per hour and Annual Project Hours Managed per Project Manager. Over the three year period costs per hour went down 39%. Annual Project Hours Managed per Project Manager went up 81%!
Measuring Success and Lessons Learned
Linda and her team measured success three ways:
a. Their People.
The most important measurement for Linda is their people. Their measurement for “entrepreneurs” was 18% at first, and now it is over 29%, which matches the CEB benchmark!
b. Process and tools.
One of the things they leverage much better is the analytics within the portfolio and impact the delivery. The Project Managers love the new tools.
c. Our Delivery
Productivity went up and they now have project transparency.
a. People – Number one is you need strong leaders on the team to drive a change like this. The leaders on the team today are different than when they started. They either brought people up or brought new people in.
b. Process and tools are helpful, but it’s really still about the people and the process and people. Linda literally chose the tool and said they were all using it. A common tool created transparency.
c. Delivery Excellence.
Linda noted at the end that the pace of change must be thoughtful. Here advise is to be persistent. What measured is what gets done. Follow the 80/20 rule.