QUICK RESPONSES FOR AN AGILE SOLUTION
The value of a PMO also depends on its ability to respond to needs, changes, events and more. Once established, a PMO can utilize experience and contacts to form an immediate response to changes in environment (regulatory mandates), storm response/restoration, priority changes (portfolio adjustments), changes in strategy and contract strategy. It’s a matter of flexibility. A rigid PMO is less likely to be successful over time.
Quantifying quick response time is a matter of showing changes in portfolio and resource demand. Examples might include shortening the average rate of storm response, increasing the ability to complete planned work, or gaining opportunities through changes in execution of strategy and portfolio mix. Changes in risk may not be as quantifiable, but there is also a qualitative measurement such as responding to a commission request, community request or corporate/investor relations.
By further aligning project load with resources, a PMO can streamline response times. For example, co-locating work resources can potentially limit mobilization costs while reducing outage times for system maintenance and capital work. With a unified resource demand view, a PMO can also communicate where shared services, such as electronic technicians, overlap the most and provide agreed-upon priorities and the ability to adjust resources ongoing. So when peak demand exceeds available hours, including overtime, the PMO can adjust the portfolio to accommodate unplanned outages or work where project resources are needed in the short term.
To help establish these priorities, a PMO can have a scoring process and ranking of projects. Often a priority score is based on revenue, system reliability, load growth, safety, and regulatory and risk mitigation. Typically there is a threshold or red line based on the annual budget.
Changes in portfolio value can be derived from dollar value of projects, purpose of the projects (revenue generating versus system upgrades versus replacements) and their return. A revenue project, such as adding a substation to serve a new industrial customer, can greatly add value to the mix of work and therefore not typically be subject to budget priorities, as it is the priority. However, if resources and strategy are limited or not immediately apparent, a cost recovery model can help determine which projects to fund.
Adaptation and flexibility in executing capital is valuable as long as it makes sense and is not too onerous to work in. Scalable processes and an efficient way to review projects are necessary, perhaps through a stage-gate model with a decision-making matrix for flexible scaling integrated with an organization’s integrated business planning model. This may take time to develop, but pushing boundaries further develops value-driven processes.