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Case study

Programme 101: PMO Build for Financial Services Institution

The Client engaged pmBusinessCase to implement Programme 101, whose aim was to establish a P3O® (Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Office) in their delivery environment to improve PPM maturity from the then current level, to one level higher in a period of 18 to 24 months.

The Challenge

Our Client, a financial services organisation, was running at least 70 projects concurrently, mostly of an IT Applications nature, which also included configurations and re-builds of some of their key assets such as the Core Banking Platform. The project environment suffered mainly from typical issues that relate to low PPM maturity levels. Some of the issues faced included the following:


Lack Of Planning

Poor Prioritisation of projects, programmes and portfolios which made it difficult to answer the question, ‘Are we doing the rights things?’
Lack of formal Project or Programme Initiation, with projects being started without adequate justification.

Due to the absence of business cases, not all the change initiatives could be mapped back to a key strategic objective of the organisation, and this also made it difficult to track benefits once the solution had been deployed in the production environment. 


Lack Of Processes

Generally, there was minimal or no project documentation, and organisation process assets could not easily be identified due to either they not being there at all, or the Configuration Management System being not in place to track such artefacts.

There was a notable absence of a defined Project Management process or workflow to handle the development of project artefacts, and a lack of standardisation in the way projects were delivered.
No evidence that Facilitated Scoping Workshops were in place. This led to poor project and product scoping. 


Lack Of Clear Milestones

Without clarity of Acceptance and Quality Criteria upfront, it was difficult to reach a point in the project in which the intended owner could actually get to sign off the deliverables.

The absence of an IT Project Management Office was noted; this had the drawback of leading to an uncoordinated delivery approach, evidenced by pockets of excellence in which some projects thrived and delivered well on the strength of the very experienced Project Managers running them, in an environment in which the bulk of the projects were either challenged or were failing. 


Lack Of Resource Planning

There was no role clarity in terms of who should prepare the product scope, as well as the project scope. It seemed that there was an expectation from Business that they would get this service from IT, and yet, it would appear that IT expected Business to define clearly their own requirements before they approached IT for a solution or a project.

Resource Demand and Supply was a challenge in this environment. Resources were expected to perform project work over and above their normal day-to-day tasks, yet when it came to appraisal time, they were not measured on the project work. This had the potential to create resentment for project work as it is was not reflected back to the performance appraisal process for the individuals working on projects. 

Programme 101’s Mandate 

The Client engaged a Senior pmBusinessCase Consultant to implement Programme 101, whose aim was to establish a P3O® (Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Office) in their delivery environment to improve PPM maturity from the then current level, to one level higher in a period of 18 to 24 months. Ultimately, the intervention was designed to address the issues that the organisation faced, with an ultimate view to:


Improve PPM Maturing

Achieve an overall improvement in the PPM maturity and culture in the organisation. 
Improve the skills of Programme and Project Managers through coaching and mentoring towards industry best practices.

Ensure that the right programmes and projects are formally initiated and delivered to meet the organisation’s strategy.


Programme Predictability

Improve the predictability of programmes and project delivery as well as consistency of delivery approach through the introduction and successful adoption of appropriate methodologies and standardised processes.

Introduce and refine appropriate tools and systems to provide enablement of processes to the PPM community. 


Enhanced Reporting

Provide Executives with a view of their portfolios, programmes and projects through enhanced reporting capability.

Establish a Centre of Excellence (COE) as part of the P3O® Model to: (i) ensure consistency of delivery across the portfolio, programmes and projects, and: (ii) to provide standards, methods and processes, knowledge management, assurance and training across the full portfolio of change. 

The Results - Happy Customers make us tick!


Project closures

Projects were successfully completed & closed or terminated in a period of 12 months.


Trained PM's

Project Managers were trained in use of Product-Based Planning Technique, which they now apply to their projects.


Business Cases

95% of new projects now have Business Cases that show clear strategic alignment for each initiative.

Case study results

The Company is now able to prioritise its change portfolio comprising 75 projects which are of an IT nature, with some being regulatory compliance as well as risk management projects.

The Single Proiect List (SPL) allows Executive Management to have a view of all the projects and various deployment stages, as well as giving them visibility of those projects that are still in the Business Case or RFP Prccess.

Interactive Management Dashboards provide on-demand
project information.  

The Business Case Working Committee
(BCWC) provides Scrutiny & Challenge to all
change ideas.

The Project Evaluation & Investment
Committee (PEIC) reviews the recommendations of the BCWC & either Rejects or Approves the proposals. 

The Strategic PMO ensures Strategic
Alignment of each proposal, as well as presiding over Benefits Tracking once the solution has been deployed.



“Before pmBusinessCase partnered with us, our project delivery suffered from inconsistency of approach, missed deadlines and wrong scope delivered. I am pleased to note that we now have a formal tailor-made Project Management Methodology as well as a controlled Business-Case Process for our project start-ups, enabling us to create benefit profiles and measure the value of our initiatives”

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