Project Delivery Tools

Level 5 Partners recognizes that each organization has specific needs regarding the adoption of a PMO tool. Not every tool is right for every company.

When considering a tool or set of tools to enhance your project delivery capability it is important to implement a tool-set that is a good fit for your organization and its project delivery maturity.  

PMO Tools and the small organization

For organizations with a limited number of projects or a limited resource pool, a "PMO Light" approach can work well. PMO Light can be implemented with this simple approach:

  • Install MS-Project, MS-Word, MS-Excel, on project manager's desktop
  • Implement a PMO shared space on a shared network drive (Google Docs, Dropbox..etc)
  • Create an inventory of project templates ( you can download free templates here )
  • Weekly status meetings with Project Managers and PMO Lead

Another alternative is to implement an extremely low cost solution such as Basecamp offered by 37 Signals. 

Remember, the goal is to get started and show immediate value to you and your organization.

What about larger organizations ?

The key here is also to show large benefits with limited investment. If the PMO tries to shoot for the stars before it is ready, the potential for failure is high. If you are ready for a more advanced tool to help coordinate PMO efforts consider Level 5 Partners - Virtual Program Management Office (vPMO). The vPMO is easy to implement, low cost, and customizable.

What to look for in a Program Management Tool

When Level 5 Partners started helping organizations achieve delivery excellence, it became clear that an easy-to-use, comprehensive, integrated delivery tool-set would drastically increase their delivery capability. We determined that a tool-set that truly helped our clients would have to meet the following criteria:

  • Support Best Practices - The tool-set had to support cross-methodology best practices that are at the core of all of the modern development methodologies. Examples of these best practices include frequent iterations, artifact revision control, risk management, stakeholder collaboration, early testing, and project task accountability.
  • Methodology Agnostic - The tool-set had to work with all of the modern development methodologies. It had to work just as well with "Waterfall" methodology as with more recent processes such as Rational Unified Process, Extreme Programming and Agile Modeling. We designed a tool-set that is able to coexist with your current process as well as work smoothly with new processes you may want to add later.
  • Economical - By far the biggest obstacle our clients had for not implementing a better delivery environment was the perceived cost. While some tools can be very expensive, we have created an extremely economical integrated PMO solution that will save you a serious amount in delivery costs.
  • Turn-Key Deployment Model - The second largest reason organizations give for not raising their delivery capability to the next level, is the effort involved in acquiring, installing, and training users on the new tools and processes. Our vPMO solution can be deployed in an ASP model, so it is usable by anyone who has an Internet connection and a browser. The integrated GURU component ensures that your users can use the tool with minimal training.
  • Non-Proprietary - While we believe that the vPMO system is the best PMO system on the market, one of the risk management best practices we promote is to avoid proprietary technologies. For this reason, the vPMO suite has been designed with a Microsoft Office export capability. All services can be directly exported to MS-Excel, MS-Word, and MS-Project (where appropriate).
  • Intuitive - In order to support the Turnkey Deployment model, the vPMO system had to be intuitive. With the context-sensitive GURU component, most users can learn to use the vPMO system with little or no training.
  • Collaborative - Users should be able to collaboratively share ideas and concepts by using the tool. This helps to reduce delivery risk by minimizing feedback time and promoting team buy-in. To meet this requirement, each data record in the vPMO system has a threaded discussion option. This enables stakeholders to continually refine requirements specification without the dreaded email threads and never-ending functional requirements document modification.
  • Customizable - Each component of the vPMO can be activated and deactivated according to your organization's needs. Each user can also be enabled or disabled for each component service. With this customization, specific information can be provided to each member of the team as needed. For example, a business stakeholder may only want to see requirements specification and status reports, but may not need to see database designs and resource forecasts.