After making the business case to move your Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) to the cloud, it is tempting to rush into the migration process. Online PPM tools, like Microsoft Project Online, offer impressive benefits – from cost savings and unlimited scalability to enhanced collaboration and improved user adoption. With such enticing advantages available, many organizations charge ahead with the migration, and unfortunately include the bad behaviors from the previous PMO model. These bad behaviors not only impede the migration process; they can limit the success of the PMO within the new cloud-based model.

Take the Time to Look Back

When you are ready to begin the migration process, your first step should not involve looking forward; it should be about looking back. A migration is the perfect time to evaluate your past performance and rethink your current PPM methodologies. Since the entire Project Management Office (PMO) is already preparing to learn something new, incorporating additional changes will be less disruptive than usual.

If you fail to take a moment to reflect, you will essentially be transitioning your bad habits to the cloud. Your new PPM platform may still provide some benefits, but it won’t improve the overall performance of your PMO.

Tips for Making the Most of Your PPM Migration

To avoid a “trial and error” approach to your transition, there are some key questions that you can ask yourself before you begin the design phase. While your PMO may have particular needs, these questions can serve as the basis of your PMO’s evaluation. They can also help you uncover areas where best practices need to be incorporated into your techniques.

Ask yourself:

  1. Are our PPM processes consistent across our entire portfolio? Every project needs to be tracking the same key performance indicators (KPIs). If each team is using different metrics, then you will never be able to compare project data apples to apples. And without this comparison, you will never have true insight into your portfolio.
  2. Are we distributing the right information to the right people? Do you know your audience? If you are disseminating the same report to every person, from the C-suite to Project Managers, now is the time to integrate role-based reporting. It is also important to make sure that each team member understands their unique role and responsibilities.
  3. Is our PMO aligned with the strategic objectives of our organization? Do you have a framework in place that ensures your PMO prioritizes projects based on your enterprise’s goals? And, if you do, does your organization know it? Even if you are already doing the right things, it’s crucial to have a system in place to let key stakeholders know about your progress.
  4. Are we flexible enough to adapt to every situation? You never know what your next project might be. Are you equipped to meet the needs of every customer? Do you have a strategy in place to manage risk? Although the PMO likes to live in a world of time restraints and hard facts, you need to consider “what-if” scenarios to ensure your PMO is sustainable.
  5. Is our PMO future-proof? Do you have the right people and the right skills to grow your PMO today? Do your tools meet all of your demands? While most cloud-based PPM solutions offer scalability, you must also consider their functionality. If driving user adoption is difficult now, imagine how hard it will be with twice as many users in five years.

Adopt a Thoughtful, Purposeful Approach

Approaching your PPM migration in a more calculated way will take more time and effort on behalf of your entire PMO staff. While this may not seem ideal, the patience and hard work will pay off exponentially down the road. Improving your PPM practices now will give you an insightful, collaborative, and responsive PMO that can evolve with your enterprise and its goals.

Leave your bad behaviors behind; migrate methods and techniques that will make your PMO successful into the future.

Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.