Bo Di Muccio
If there is one constant in technology professional services (PS), it is the desire to improve project performance. With few exceptions, that is the one motivation all PS executives share. The reason for this is simple: the vast majority of PS delivery occurs in the form of projects, rather than as a continuous service. It stands to reason that PS managers are constantly seeking to understand and enhance project performance.
In the first half of 2014, TSIA conducted its bi-annual PS Project Performance Study to get a read on the current state of the industry. This is the fifth study of its kind since 2008. The scope of the data analysis was extensive and included:
Right away, I want to dispel the myth that the only relevant measure of project performance is profitability. The fact is that for every PS business, there is a different PS business model. PS executives are not all equally focused on project margin. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important thing, it’s just not the only thing. That is why we’ve developed a concept of “Best in Class” projects that is actually defined by not one, but seven key criteria:
Yet as the following chart shows, only a very small percentage of projects actually satisfy all seven of the best in class project criteria.
(Click image to enlarge.)
So what does it take to be part of that elite 5% of best in class project performance? The reality is that it takes a lot, but as our study has shown, one of the most important drivers of project performance is having a Project Management Office, or PMO, in place.
How do you build a best in class PMO? Based on more than 40 hands-on audits of PS operations, TSIA has established a charter definition for PMOs that documents eight key activities:
The impact of PMOs in controlling things like going over planned project hours, completing projects on schedule, and hitting targeted project margins is detailed in the full study report that is available to TSIA PS discipline members.
Once your PMO is established and by following these strategies and criteria, we'll believe you'll have a real chance to move more of your projects to that "Best in Class" category. Do you have any thoughts on what it takes to improve project performance? Leave a comment or send me an email. I'm interested in hearing how your organization has improved its project performance.
Post Date: November 20, 2014
Bo Di Muccio, Ph.D., is the distinguished vice president of research, Professional Services, for TSIA. He is also the chairperson of the TSIA Professional Services Advisory Board. Using his nearly 15 years of experience in technology industry research, analysis, and consulting, Di Muccio develops and delivers research and advisory programs that help some of the world’s leading technology companies build and optimize their professional services business.
The Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) is dedicated to helping services organizations large and small grow and advance in the technology industry. Find out how you can achieve success, too. Call us at (858) 674-5491 or we can call you.