Information Technology's Project Management Office (PMO) is part of the Internal Services Administration Division reporting to the IT Director. This team is responsible for establishing and maintaining methods, standards and guidelines for the organization's Project Management processes.
This initiative and team was launched in 1996, when the Department of Information Technology was facing a crisis with OVER 900 backlogged work orders for projects and resources. There was no quick way to determine the status of current projects, available manpower or estimated completion dates. The existing project tracking methods were varied; spreadsheets, databases, lists, etc. The existing work order system only tracked total hours expended and did not allow for inter-project dependencies or prioritization of work orders. Information Technology needed to end the over-commitment of manpower and reduce losses, but first IT needed to determine how to control the flow of work orders and manage projects and resources.
In addition, IT needed a system to help deliver projects on time and within budget, and identify projects that were in trouble. Furthermore, improved service to IT customers was clearly needed, as well as improved efficiencies for IT staff and management. Therefore, in May of 1996, IT obtained funding from the Board of Commissioners for the implementation of a Project Management System.
County Executive L. Brooks Patterson delivered his opening comments at the implementation's kick-off meeting. “Efficient and progressive County operations, both now and in the future, will rely heavily on the successful delivery of IT projects. For this reason, this will be one of the most strategic initiatives for this department,” Mr. Patterson said.
A Project Management Advisory Group was formed which provided the decision making needed for setting the standards, guidelines, and procedures that are necessary for a successful Project Management System. The Project Management System went into production February 8, 1997, at which time IT staff began tracking actual hours in plans created using the new system. A major deliverable of this initiative was also to establish a Project Management Office (PMO).
The Project Management Office is responsible to:
- Provide Project Management mentoring; tool support and best Project Management practices.
- Provide internal Clarity application assistance.
- Perform department wide analysis, determine trends and make recommendations for improvements.
- Prepare, develop and maintain Project Management processes, including the Project Management Handbook, Clarity documentation and Project Management templates.
- Conduct project assurance, compliance and review of project variances.
- Prepare and present the Information Technology Master Plan.
- Prepare and present Master Plan Quarterly Status reports for the Leadership Group.
- Facilitate and document IT Leadership Group processes and procedures.
- Ensure adherence to the Issues Management and Scope Change Management processes.
- Review, advise and ensure compliance for Scope & Approach and Return on Investment processes.
- Gather project management data, document and recommend Project Management core competencies and develop/recommend proven repeatable best practices.
- Evaluate, recommend and implement product fix pack releases, upgrades as deemed necessary.