Program failures and the US Census Bureau, a reminder. - June 29th, 2010, by FergalTweet
During the early days of VisibleThread in Spring 2008, I used to carry around a positioning slide deck. This, I shared with interested parties; potential investors and early adopters mostly, outlining the VisibleThread value proposition. In it, I would outline high profile, troubled programs.
I would pinpoint how automated defect identification in documents would have allowed program managers not only identify, but reign in under-scoped & creeping projects & put in place effective project controls. The net effect was to avert out of control scenarios, avoiding programs being placed in jeopardy. Interestingly, two years later this remains our core proposition.
One of the examples I tended to cite was the US Census Bureau with its FDCA (Field Data Collection Automation) program aimed towards automating household data collection for the 2010 US census. The program was initiated in 2006 and by 2008 was in deep trouble. FDCA was all about equipping agents with handhelds that would automate the collection of data at the doorstep, cutting out the big expense associated with manual collection and the subsequent analysis of the data. (more…)Comments Off
Growing a PMO from infancy to maturity - June 15th, 2010, by FergalTweet
At VisibleThread, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to observe PMOs (Project Management Offices) at first hand, particularly so as we work with many of the leading players in the FS (Financial Services) sector.
I recently came across a nice analogy on the PMI site at: www.pmi.org/Pages/PMO-Growing-Pains.aspx comparing a PMO with the human lifecycle. The basic assertion is that PMOs are born, grow up and hopefully end up as mature, ‘adult’ PMOs.
Applying the analogy to the PMO highlights the importance of ‘good parenting’ in terms of how a PMO is set up (i.e. born) and how it is nurtured and evolves. In fact, many PMOs stay at infant stage, not progressing much beyond the basic idea of a group of project managers with no particular strategic imperitive.Comments Off