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Six Symptoms Indicating You Need to Revamp Your Project Management Process and Controls


It is critical to continuously assess your organization to identify and address gaps that impede the organization’s ability to execute projects successfully and stay in alignment with the overall business strategy. Failure to successfully manage and execute projects coherently across the organization will have a direct impact on the health of the business. By having a robust project management process, systems, and controls in place you can mitigate the risks associated with how the organization plans and executes projects and initiatives.

The realization of an enterprise or business strategy is directly linked to how the organization selects, plans, funds, executes and monitors critical projects and initiatives. This relationship is illustrated in the diagram below:

The realization of an enterprise or business strategy is directly linked to how the organization selects, plans, funds, executes and monitors critical projects and initiatives.


The Symptoms

Effectively managing projects throughout their entire lifecycle is an internal capability desired by most organizations. Leading practice organizations proactively identify issues with their project management practices and successfully deploy corrective actions and controls.

Here are six symptoms that could indicate your project management practices could use a refresh, and some questions that you can ask your organization:

Inconsistent Project Selection and Prioritization
Inability to Meet Budget Targets
Limited Project Execution Metrics and Reporting
Reallocation of Funds
Inconsistent Project Execution and Controls
Lack of Project Documentation


The Solution

Best-in-class project management organizations have clear governance over project selection and prioritization, implement project management practices that adopt a standardized project management process for all project lifecycle stages and deploy project management software to manage the process, track progress, and enable automatic reporting.

Clear Governance of Project Selection and Oversight
  • Establish an organizational body and process that governs and oversees the collection of projects as a coherent, integrated portfolio
  • Standardize project selection and prioritization methodology driven by strategic priorities and objectives
  • Ensure that program benefits are attained and aligned with organizational goals and strategy
Standardized Project Management Process and Controls
  • Deploy project management standards and stage gate controls
  • Establish clear roles and accountabilities throughout the project lifecycle
  • Accelerate training and change management efforts
  • Verify consistent use of project controls and quality management practices
Project Management System and Automatic Reporting
  • Establish a single source of truth for project goals and performance
  • Review all projects as an integrated portfolio
  • Develop automated project workflows and approvals to improve controls and efficiency
  • Deploy automatic reporting by integrating with data analytics and visualization tools (e.g., Power BI)

The Benefits

The following are a few of the key benefits of leading practice project management organizations:

Portfolio-level View
Manage the portfolio of all projects at the organization or department level rather than project by project to ensure the best outcomes for the organization.

Efficient Project Selection and Prioritization
Enhance the selection and prioritization of the
right projects with outcomes that clearly trace back to strategic objectives and deliverables.

Standardized Process
Standardize the execution of projects to
ensure on-time, on-budget delivery with the expected outcomes and ensure all projects are managed together as one portfolio.

Enhanced Visibility
Enhance the visibility into projects across the organization to
improve decision-making and resource allocation.

Improved Financial Performance
Use fiscal discipline with a clear understanding of the capital and labor required to deliver on a given set of projects and
ensure budget and expense targets are being met.

Increased Accountability
Improve governance and accountability
for the selection, prioritization, and execution of all projects.

About the Authors

Gerardo Morales, Tony Gonzalez, and Bill Hosken are directors at ScottMadden with deep experience in project management processes, controls, and systems. Bill leads our data & analytics practice and Tony co-leads our transmission and distribution community of practice.


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