Thinktank Consulting was contacted by a medium-size European software company producing various value-added services for the telecommunications industry. The organization has experienced a very fast growth in terms of revenues, full-time employees and the portfolio of services it offered.
The executives felt that now was the time to venture into the non-telecom domain by providing professional IT services to other organizations and by developing their own mobile apps business line.
Problems and Challenges
The senior management of the company had several concerns about the future development of the organizational goals. They included:
- Our projects are getting bigger, especially the professional services ones. Do we have the in-house skills and capabilities to handle them?
- We started experiencing certain problems with our projects already. They include poor quality of product, need for rework and missed deadlines. What are the root causes of these problems?
- We are entering two new business domains with very steep learning curves. How do we balance our best resources without damaging the existing business lines?
- We seem to have too many project ideas. How do we handle the resource allocation?
- We need more project managers and business analysts, but they are not readily available in our market. What options do we have?
As the company employees have been already heavily involved in multiple projects already, the time factor had to be considered as we did not have the luxury to “remove” the resources from their projects for a prolonged period of time.
Thinktank Consulting has identified three problem areas for the company. They included:
- Lack of project management capabilities
- Lack of requirements management (aka business analysis in the IT and software development world) capabilities
- Absence of project proposal prioritization and strategic resource allocation (project portfolio management)
The following steps were undertaken:
- Company-wide (project team members and senior managers) project management and business analysis training
- Development of portfolio management templates and processes
- Project Portfolio Management Masterclass for senior management
- Guided "New Project Selection" working session with executives
- Summary report and manual for portfolio processes including the project valuation model (value + balance + strategic alignment)
After a year the company has reported the following results:
- Improved time-to-market on their projects
- Drastic decrease in the number of quality issues and the resulting need for rework
- Decrease in the number of resources required per project as most of the efficiencies were caught in the initiation and planning stages rather than in the execution or close out phases
- A more structured approach to project selection
- Executives felt that the projects selected were bringing more value to the company
- Revenue and profitability growth
- Ability to move more aggressively into new domains and product lines due to the resources freeing up from the “traditional” side of the business
About the Author
Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East. Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca
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Jamal is an author of two very popular books: Delivering Exceptional Project Results: A Practical Guide to Project Selection, Scoping, Estimation and Management and Project Scope Management: A Practical Guide to Requirements for Engineering, Product, Construction, IT and Enterprise Projects.