Changes in AtekPC’s Business Environment That Caused the Company to Introduce a PMO
The business environment of personal computers has experienced a number of changes that have affected players in this industry. Priority of the consumers is shifting from personal computers to smartphones and PDAs. According to Tonnquist (2009), the introduction of smartphones has been a big threat to the industry of personal computers. Many consumers now prefer using their phones to read and send e-mails.
They are also using their phones for various applications, including sharing information with friends on social media. These are some of the applications that were making personal computers attractive to domestic consumers. This consumer segment prefers smartphones because of their small size making them easily portable. Some of the customers also prefer staying longer with their PC buying new ones. This means that the sale of personal computers has dropped by a significant margin over the years.
Firms such as Atek are finding it difficult to manage their operations. The cost of production is on the rise while sales are constantly declining. An integrated communication system has become vital in defining the sustainability of firms in this industry. They have to maintain high levels of efficiency in their operations in order to remain competitive. The management of this firm has come to appreciate that these changes must be approached using some of the modern tools of management. It is because of these changes that the chief information officer in this firm, Mr. John Strider, found it relevant to introduce PMO in this firm.
Appropriateness of the Reasons for Developing a PMO
It is important to determine the appropriateness of the reason this firm decided to introduce the Project Management Office. As mentioned above, the reason that the management of Atek PC cited was that the sales of their products had gone down, while the cost of production was on the rise. According to Field and Keller (1998), “The aim of PMO is to boost IT efficiency, cut costs, and improve on project delivery in terms of time and budget.”
This is precisely what Mr. John Stride seeks to achieve. He wants to improve the efficiency of the firm, cut unnecessary costs that are met when implementing various projects, and ensure that delivery of the firm’s products is done in a timely manner. This justifies the need for a Project Management Office. Unless the management takes this initiative, this firm can easily be pushed away from the market.
Changes Necessary for AtekPC to Effectively Implement a PMO
It is clear from the above analysis that this firm is justified to develop a Program Management Office in order to remain sustainable in the market. However, implementing a successful PMO may be as problematic as ignoring its relevance within the firm. In the case presented, Mr. John Strider is a worried man. He knows how much this firm needs a PMO in order to become more efficient and cut costs as a way of gaining a competitive edge over its rivals.
However, there are some necessary changes that will need to be observed in order to implement PMO successfully. According to Bruce and Langdon (2009), before a firm can implement a PMO, it would be necessary to align some of its internal structures in a way that will make it easy for the programs to run. It is important to note that the focus will be to develop a program that would be followed when implementing various projects to eliminate the costs of developing a new program each time a new project is initiated. Some of the specific changes that the management will need to observe when implementing a PMO include the following.
Program Life Cycle Management
Program life cycle management will be one of the most important issues that Atek PC will be of the issues that the management will have to address. Currently, this firm embraces an approach where each project has its own program life cycle. However, this new arrangement will require the management to develop a new program life cycle that will be applicable for all new projects. This way, the management, will be able to handle all the projects from a central point. It will be easy to determine the stages that each project will undertake and the associated costs. This way, the management, will be able to determine if the project is operating within or below its expectations. Mr. John Stride and his management team must address this issue. This makes it easy to monitor various projects at a central point.
Program Benefits Management
According to Nagarajan (2005), every program has specific benefits that should be realized for it to be considered successful. With a PMO, the program management officer needs to understand the specific objectives of various projects within an organization. In order to embrace uniformity in managing various projects, there will be a need to find an approach that can be used to define how the benefits are to be set when defining the objectives of a new project. This means that those assigned a specific project will be expected to follow a specific guideline when they are developing projects objectives. Currently, this is missing in this firm because each project is treated as a new entity that has its own unique benefits. This is one of the most important changes that must be observed by this firm.
Program Stakeholder Engagement
Firms are keen to ensure that the programs implemented meet the needs of various stakeholders within their organization. According to Meredith and Mantel (2012), “Program Stakeholders are individuals and organizations whose interests may be affected by the program outcomes, either positively or negatively.” The aim of any program manager would be to ensure that the outcome of his or her programs will be beneficial to the stakeholders. In order to achieve this, there is a need to engage them directly in the planning and implementation process of a PMO. In this respect, the focus will be to ensure that the program understands the interests of these stakeholders. This way, it will be possible to define projects objectives to be in line with these interests. Mr. John Stride and his team must achieve this requirement.
Program governance is crucial for the program management office because it is at this stage that decision-making on various activities will be involved. The program management officer will be responsible for the task of ensuring that goals of different projects are consistent with the needs of the stakeholders and the strategic objectives of the firm. The management will also need to develop a system that will help in identification and management of risks in various projects. This firm needs to develop this in order to implement PMO (Levine & Wideman, 2013).
Program Strategy Alignment
Finally, the management will need to develop program strategy alignment that will ensure that all projects within a given portfolio follow a given strategy that has been tried and tested to be appropriate. This will also involve ensuring that the strategy taken is aligned to the overall strategy of the organization
AtekPC Program Charter
Program Name and Sponsorship
The name of the program will be AtekPC Program Management Office and its sponsor AtekPC Inc.
Contact and Historical Information
This program charter was developed by the IT Department on 25th March 2014 to help guide the process of implementing a Project Management Officer within the firm. Copies of this document are available at the firm’s headquarters in the office of the chief information officer. Any amendment to this document must be initiated by relevant authorities and approved by the board of directors.
The Program Management Office will be directly under the office of the chief information officer. The management structure will be based on the structure of the IT Department, with Mr. John Stride in the top management.
This program seeks to achieve efficiency when implementing projects within this organization. It is expected that this will reduce the cost of production and improve the product delivery process.
Boundaries and Constraints
PMO will be specifically involved in the management of projects within this organization. All projects will fall within its boundary. However, it will not be involved in the top management processes.
PMO seeks to develop a universal program that will need to be used when implementing different projects. Of interest will be to have a program that will help the chief information officer of this firm to trace performance of various projects to determine their efficiency in terms of cost, quality and speed.
The PMO must be able to satisfy the needs of both the internal and external stakeholders. Given the fact that its funding will come from the firm’s profit, it has to deliver positive results to the shareholders by improving the profitability of the firm.
This program will have several phases based on the number of projects that will be based on it and the time it is expected to last. After a period of 12 to 36 months, it may be necessary to make some changes on the program to meet the changing environmental needs.
Finance and Budgets
The PMO’s main focus will be to cut costs of implementing different projects within this organization. There is a strict structure that defines how individual projects are to be financed based on their needs and possible outcome.
It is assumed that all departments within this organization will adhere to the stipulations of this charter. This assumption was made after it was confirmed that the top management unit and the board of directors supported it. It was also assumed that the finance unit will avail all the financial resources needed for the implementation of the program.
The PMO may face a number of risks that may jeopardize its successful implementation. Possible opposition from the stakeholders may be the greatest threat because they jeopardize its implementation. Other risks include financial risks and legal risks. However, there are mechanisms on how they can be addressed when they arise.
Bruce, A., & Langdon, K. (2009). Project management. New York: Cengage.
Field, M., & Keller, L. S. (1998). Project management. London: International Thomson Business Press.
Levine, H. A., & Wideman, M. (2013). Project portfolio management: A practical guide to selecting projects, managing portfolios, and maximizing benefits. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Meredith, J. R., & Mantel, S. J. (2012). Project management: A managerial approach. Hoboken: Wiley.
Nagarajan, K. (2005). Project management. New Delhi: New Age International.
Tonnquist, B. (2009). Project management: A complete guide. Aarhus: Academica.