[Utilities] PMO Strategies & Capital Investment Governance Webinar

Excited to announce this upcoming utilities-focused webinar on March 12 (2:00-3:00 EST) with UMT and Frank LaRocca, Director of Business Improvement Services for ConEdison.

  • Learn from ConEd’s experiences and insights on building governance and an enterprise PMO for multi-billion dollar capital investment portfolios.
  • Hear about the latest innovations in agile operating models that deliver and exceed historical performance across electric, gas and steam operations.

For more information, to register and/or to see the case study, please click here.

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Know Microsoft Project? Move to Colorado

From Governor Hickenlooper’s State of the State speech:

We have launched an initiative that pulls together state resources from several departments, with the single-minded objective to assist long-term unemployed workers find work.

People like Wendy Stedman.

Last year, Wendy walked into a Colorado Workforce Center in Centennial and enrolled in the Dislocated Worker Program. A veteran who served this country honorably, she had lost her job working in I.T. and communications systems.

Wendy’s workforce specialist provided her with resume and interview skills coaching. Together, they determined she would be more marketable with some specialized training.

Wendy was approved to attend Microsoft Project certification classes, and her previous employer re-hired her as a Technical Project Manager.

Please join me in asking Wendy to stand so that we can congratulate her on her new job and thank her for strengthening Colorado’s economy.

The investments we make in our workforce development programs benefit not only the long-term unemployed but also employers and the entire state.



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Want Value from Prioritization? Stop Focusing on Prioritization

What’s the best way to prioritize projects and initiatives within the portfolio?  This is a common question – with equally common answers.  Usually, the response is to implement a structure that maps projects to strategic initiatives.  Increasingly, the answer is that projects should be mapped to programs and programs to strategic assets.

The problem, of course, is that simply prioritizing your projects doesn’t do a whole lot.  The real question is what do we do with that prioritization?  What are the data points we need to support the prioritization.  At the end of the day, the goal is not prioritization itself but to ensure that organizational resources are applied to the correct work.  To ensure we get value from the prioritization exercise, we need to see how that influences downstream decision making.


Hence, we want to look at the downstream impact of the prioritization exercise.  How will the work prioritized in the portfolio management process be integrated into the work of the various organizations doing the actual execution? If we don’t have clear line of sight into that process, then improving the prioritization mechanism will yield minimal value to the enterprise.


From the resource perspective, the general goal is to provide clarity on the entire work queue – what are all of the requests outstanding and in what order should those be performed.  From an organizational portfolio analytics standpoint, the general goal is to understand what that resource is working on, and to translate that into meaningful terms at the top of the enterprise.

Similarly, what are we prioritizing except organizational constraints?  How do we know those constraints unless we’ve already accounted for ongoing commitments and work in progress?  What are we prioritizing if we don’t include the work in flight in our assessment of how to support changing business priorities?

Note that I’m not diminishing the importance of prioritizing the project portfolio.  In fact, I generally recommend that as the first step in establishing a project management framework.  The trick is not to stop with prioritization, but to treat that as the start of the journey – and to understand how it ties in with all of the other processes within the overall framework.  That’s how to get value from prioritization.


Posted in Portfolio Management | Leave a comment

Adding Tasks to the Timeline with VBA

Toodling around in MPP 2013 today and came up with this quick code.  It runs through each task and adds the ones flagged in the Flag1 field to the timeline.  Note this is barely tested – and I would assume it needs to be run on a view where the timeline actually appears.

Sub AddTasktoTimeline()

    Dim T As Task
    For Each T In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If T.Flag1 = True Then
            SelectRow Row:=T.ID, RowRelative:=False
            SelectRow Row:=T.ID, RowRelative:=False
            TaskOnTimeline Remove:=True
        End If
    Next T

End Sub

Posted in Project Desktop, VBA | Leave a comment

Performance Improvement in 2 Slick Pages

Caught this PDF the other day while browsing ISPI.org’s website.  (I used to be on the board of the Central Ohio chapter):

Well worth the time to review:


Posted in Change Management | Leave a comment

There’s Still Time to Register for Our Houston Event on November 20

Come on out to Microsoft’s offices to see what’s next in project and portfolio management.  For more information and to register, please check out this link:


Posted in Events, Self Referential | Leave a comment

Applying Enterprise Architecture to an EPMO Process Framework

Thinking a bit more about last week’s post on scoping the EPMO.  In that post, I asserted that there are certain “stock” capabilities that an organization requires to execute projects.  Some of those capabilities should be best owned by the EPMO, some by the various PMOs supported by the EPMO, and some jointly owned by both.


One thing I left out of that post was a suggested framework for how to determine where a specific capability might actually fall, i.e. should it be considered a centralized capability or a decentralized capability?  As I was thinking about this, I realized that the framework proposed by Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill & David Robertson in their page turning EA book, Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, could be brought to bear on the discussion.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, they suggest reviewing architecture from the perspective of unified process and/or data.  Every capability should be reviewed by asking two simple questions:

  1. Do we need to centralize and standardize the process that each of the PMOs and EPMO follow?
  2. Do we need to centralize the data that each of the PMOs and EPMO generate and/or use?

Simply put, you can take each of the capabilities in the above chart and map it on the following 2 X 2:


After going through that exercise, that should give you a decent foundation upon which to allocate ownership of the various capabilities inherent in a PM system.

Posted in PMO, Portfolio Management | Leave a comment