A framework that provides visibility and transparency is often necessary to drive accountability and track results. Each organisation tends to have a slightly different approach to this but the objectives and characteristics of the frameworks are very similar. The framework needs to have as ‘light a touch’ as possible on the organisation and needs to create alignment as well as provide the right level of visibility and accountability.
There is a trend towards formalising the structure into an Enterprise Program Management Office [EPMO] or Transformation Office. The value of this structure is that it creates transparency and enables the organisation to prioritise investments and resources as well as facilitating fact-based decision making. This structure also allows for the regular reporting of leading indicators of success such project health information.
The drivers for setting up an EPMO have primarily been to:
- have greater visibility and of the current programs of work and investments;
- ensure the project benefits are established and are aligned with the strategic objectives;
- provide strategic oversight and dependency analysis across key projects; especially where ‘whole of business’ changes are occurring;
- ensure that the investments are occurring on the right projects, achieving the stated benefits within budget and agreed timeframes;
- provide ‘thought leadership’ on project prioritisation;
- provide executive level reporting and decision making tools;
- support the business with frameworks and tools that allow for consistency and efficiencies in delivery.
A research initiative on Enterprise Transformation – Executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office had the following key findings:
- the EMPO is considered to be strategic and critical to the successful execution of strategy for many organisations;
- establishing an EMPO has delivered notable improvements in the benefits realisation process, financial tracking, the prioritisation process and executive level reporting; although most agreed that all of these areas could be improved further;
- ideally the accountability for delivery sits within the business units; with the EPMO providing strategic oversight and alignment between key areas;
- the greatest area of ‘pain’ and ‘opportunity to do things better’ to execute strategy, drive efficiencies and gain value in the shortest period of time; is having an effective change management capability; investing in strategic and enterprise-wide change management capability is being seen as a way to accelerate the execution of strategy.