Establish Basis for Project Management Methodology

A frame of reference for the project management methodology is needed to ensure that all methodology development participants, particularly the PMO, have and can communicate a clear understanding regarding the direction being pursued to introduce a standard approach to project management. The basis for introducing a project management methodology can be formulated as described in this subsection.

Convene Methodology Development Team

The PMO will normally have primary responsibility for overseeing project management methodology development. However, the PMO must ensure that project managers and others having technical or business interests are properly represented in the methodology development effort. Therefore, a methodology development team is often formed to include participants both from inside and outside the project management environment to assist in the design, development, and implementation of the organization's new project management methodology.

The best way to ensure effective design, development, and implementation of a project management methodology is to involve "resident experts," particularly those managers who can contribute one or more of the following competencies:

■ Extensive personal project management experience in the industry

■ Knowledge and training in advanced project management practices

■ Understanding of the relevant organization's project management environment

■ Experience in the development of processes and practices

■ Familiarity with project team dynamics

■ Internal sponsorship (methodology development champion)

These characteristics should be considered when selecting individuals for participation on the methodology development team.

In addition, the PMO may want to ensure effective methodology development by using external expert advisors and project management consultants in the methodology development effort. Such external resources have prior experience and can bring cross-industry insights and expertise to expedite the effort and help the methodology development team manage process structure design, practice development, organizational issue resolution, technical and business process integration, and methodology implementation planning.

The PMO should specify and communicate the type of involvement expected of the methodology development team. It should indicate the extent to which methodology development team members will be responsible for: methodology concept development, process design, process construction, practice area design, practice area development, content review and approval, and subsequent methodology implementation and maintenance. For purposes of this PMO function, these activities collectively represent methodology deployment.

On average, the methodology development team should be able to accomplish its methodology development objectives with a minimum of three to five team members, to include at least one senior member of the PMO responsible for leading and collaborating the effort. Fewer people can staff the team but this recommended team size provides smaller to medium-sized organizations with ample exchange of alternative thoughts and perspectives necessary to deliberate and decide on how they will conduct project management. Larger, more diverse organizations may require additional team members to represent the views and interests of all involved business units.

If the methodology development team is not in itself responsible for review and approval portions of the effort, additional methodology development team members can be included as necessary to serve as reviewers of completed design and development work. Reviewers should include senior management in the relevant organization, who provide for final review and approval of the methodology.

Other factors also influence the actual size of the methodology development team and should be considered when convening the team. These include available development time and deadlines for completion, level of expertise of the team leader and team members, depth and coverage of process and practice development, and extent of subsequent implementation within the relevant organization.

The PMO can define and recommend methodology development team participation requirements by preparing a responsibility matrix similar to that used for project planning. Table 1.2 provides an abbreviated responsibility matrix. The activities that this matrix indicates represent a project effort. To that end, the project management methodology development effort should be planned and conducted as a project.

The methodology development team configuration should enable timely construction and implementation of a viable project management methodology within the relevant organization. An executive participant may also be identified to perform final review and approval for methodology design and to support methodology implementation.

Table 1.2 Sample Responsibility Matrix for Methodology Development Team
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