Recently, we introduced the concept of customer intimacy, a model of doing business which we believe has particular applicability for providers of enterprise software solutions. After all, as we noted, ERP and related implementations are not endeavours lightly entered into. Comparisons with marriage are entirely permissible, so a level of closeness between solution provider and client is consistently expected as part of the deal.
Putting customer intimacy into action at Verde has started with a mindset. But it goes well beyond that; brace yourself, because we’re going to tell you a lot of stuff that you really do want to hear, and all it revolves to a good extent around our introduction of a project management office (PMO).
So, firstly. What is a PMO? You can get the typically dry definition from Wikipedia which will likely augment what you already suspect it to be. To save you the click, here it is:
“A project management office, abbreviated to PMO, is a group or department within a business, agency or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.”
Let’s tie that back to our stated intention of being more customer intimate, which means that we engage and understand the challenges that our customers face. To do that effectively, we’re growing our team to drive engagement while introducing new services to provide additional support.
And we’ve listened to your feedback and requests for assistance with project management, which is always a difficult task anywhere, and a particularly difficult challenge in the implementation of enterprise software as any project manager is sure to attest. Scott Adams’s Dilbert famously knows all about it, and a You Tube video titled ‘Sh*t project managers say’ has attracted over 500 000 views.
Enter our PMO.
This unit will have as its primary role the support of better project delivery. It will work to improve communications and assist in managing change.
That’s not just blah blah blah, either. The PMO will play a central role in ensuring we stick to promises which we believe are fundamental to customer intimacy – such as upfront, known costs, assurance of price, scope and definitions, as entered into and agreed upon with you by us.
But what about variations, you ask? What about the very real difficulties faced with lengthy, complex projects, where scope can change as a matter of necessity?
Excellent questions. After all, the delivery of enterprise software projects faces just this reality, in that over time, unexpected issues can and often do crop up which must be addressed and which can by necessity cause scope creep, additional time and put strain on the budget.
Through our PMO, our commitment with professional project management is to, as far as possible, identify possible challenges up front and, where issues might become apparent in the process of project execution, expose them and deal with them without hesitation.
That’s one of the key functions of the PMO: better communication. That doesn’t just mean on the good stuff, such as achieving milestones or go-lives. Far more important is rapid and clear communication on the unexpected or the unpleasant. After all, it is this stuff, not the delivery of expected outcomes, which materially threatens successful project execution. The sooner the unknowns are exposed, assessed and discussed, the sooner they become knowns and, therefore, part of the project plan.
Our PMO is staffed by professionally trained, proven project managers who specialise in the delivery of enterprise software projects. While our bread and butter is in the delivery of MYOB Greentree and IPM, our PMO can deliver expertise to support implementations across a range of vendor software solutions.
This is what makes Verde different, it’s the added value you receive when partnering with us. We value the relationships we build with you and believe this investment in our operation will drive even better outcomes to meet and exceed expectations.
In the next blog, we’ll go into a little more detail into the activities of the PMO, specifically, the statement of work and how defining project-specific activities, deliverables and timelines forms the basis for the delivery of successful software systems.