Project Management Institute

Strategy in action

Garry B. Koop is vice president of relationship management for SPM Group Ltd., a project management consultancy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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photo by NADIA MOLINARI

Strategy supports the vision set by a company's leadership, but it is effective only if executed. At SPM Group, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, we try to instill in our clients that project management is a core discipline organizations must embrace to ensure the successful, strategic execution of projects. The company has invested in project management methodologies for 14 years, not only as a fundamental service for our clients, but also in our own business.

Internally, SPM Group employs a project management framework consisting of processes and templates used throughout the organization. The process encompasses a broad perspective, from strategy to execution.

Along with PMI's standard five process groups and nine knowledge areas, we use the Stage-Gate® product-development process. Dividing the work effort into distinct, time-sequenced “stages” separated by decision phases called “gates” leads us to a more effective and efficient development process.

The company's investment in these project management practices allows us to reap many of the same benefits we profess to our clients, including consistency, successful execution of initiatives and alignment with strategy.

The company also tries to incorporate best practices and emerging trends and use new tools, such as enterprise project management (EPM), which was implemented internally to assist with resource and project status management. We had to consider both the company's needs and those of our clients. Our practice manager, Jeff Don-sky, led us through this process using our seven-step methodology, which calls for an examination of the business case before recommending functionality or a plan of action. To date, the EPM system is providing us with better visibility into our projects and their progress as well as enhanced communication and reporting capabilities. In addition, improved and automated resource management has decreased the time and effort needed to manage our resources internally.

The company's investment in these project management practices allows us to reap many of the same benefits we profess to our clients, including consistency, successful execution of initiatives and alignment with strategy.

SPM recently worked with a client specializing in research and development projects for a number of products. The company's project management methodologies didn't provide big-picture views at the departmental and organizational levels or initiative and ownership at the individual level. SPM helped the company improve the management and communication of multiple projects across the organization by implementing an EPM solution.

The technology, combined with cross-functional project management training, was positively received by the company's project managers, team members and functional members. They could see relevant projects in their entirety and focus on their individual tasks.

Whether it's for us or our customers, project management is about providing a structure that incorporates best practices—and not having to re-invent the wheel each and every time. PM

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

MAY 2006 | PM NETWORK

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