- By: Mike Wayman
Complex programs with multiple, cross-functional project teams—such as those undertaking smart grid implementations—typically are not conducive to efficient collaboration and can require substantial administrative support. Accordingly, many program management offices (PMOs) dedicate significant amounts of time to gathering, organizing, and formatting data from multiple project teams in order to track progress and generate status reports for program stakeholders. These activities, however, should not be a PMO’s core focus. Program management office resources often are already over-utilized, and any added time spent on administrative tasks will only detract from value-added management activities such as anticipating risks, addressing critical issues and responding to senior management inquiries.
Through our extensive PMO experience, West Monroe Partners has developed a solution to address this issue: West Monroe Program (WMProgram). WMProgram combines our proven PMO methodologies with Microsoft Enterprise Project Management tools to provide users with an automated, transparent, and easy-to-use tool that promotes collaboration and efficiency.
A full suite of program management capabilities.
WMProgram utilizes multiple technologies to provide a comprehensive program management solution. In particular, the tool:
- Provides easy access to budget and actual cost information, standardizes channels for collecting data, and delivers flexible and customized analytics, workflow, and reporting.
- Filters and consolidates project financial information at the project and program levels
- Links milestones across projects to drive more efficient collaboration and resolve scheduling issues/conflicts efficiently
- Makes program milestones universally accessible to both internal staff and vendors
- Uses mapping tools to depict a geospatial view of program status
- Tracks risks and issues in an easy-to-use format
- Tracks and analyzes benefits
- Supports project workflow through simple notifications and task monitoring—generating alerts and notifications of pending deadlines or potential delays
Consolidates data from multiple project management platforms.
Large transformative programs often have multiple project teams using multiple software platforms for project plans, cost reporting, risk and issues logs, and other data reporting needs. WMProgram consolidates and standardizes project data and generates reports for program managers in various formats, such as SharePoint and e-mail.
Utilizes leading technology tools.
WMProgram leverages existing tools from leading industry vendors and configures them to deliver an integrated program view with process workflow and comprehensive reporting. Each application used in WMProgram is part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Project Management system. Microsoft Project Server is the hub for interactions between Project, SQL Server, SharePoint, and other web-based applications.
Benefits all levels.
In addition to enabling significant coordination and collaboration across projects that are part of a transformational program, WMProgram can be valuable in other ways. At the project team level, leaders and staff can spend less time performing administrative activities and devote more attention to truly “managing” the tasks at hand. In addition, enterprise executives have access to real-time management-level and project team-level status reports via the program’s reporting functionality—allowing them to make timely and confident decisions based on reliable data.
Contact us for a WMProgram demonstration and to learn more about this valuable new program management tool.