Many projects in banking require in-depth domain-specific skills, and their resources are not interchangeable as in other industries with change constantly happening. Challenges of managing banking projects include:
Financial services have many wonderful use cases for agile, and even for incorporating agile techniques into other project management methodologies. But too many high-level decision makers see agile as a panacea for a range of projects—especially those with an IT background. In most cases, the thinking is wrong, particularly in financial services where requisite data, rigor and discipline are key to delivering reliable functionality for projects that will be subject to scrutiny by clients and regulators. At the same time, banks find themselves delivering additional fees quickly. But risk and regulation are an important part of their work.
Even in a sector like banking, different institutions may have very different structures, resources and needs. It is crazy to expect two banks of similar size to take on the same type of projects in the same way. Add in different sub-sectors, up-and-coming financial technology companies and traditional players with potentially different profiles, and this need for customization becomes even more urgent.
For many businesses in the financial service sector (and wider), there is a tension between having in-house resources and recruiting contractors to take on project workloads. If you adequately resource the project team, everything suddenly looks like a "project" because the manager sees an opportunity to reduce the effort from the budget. If you rely on contractors, availability and cost become important factors—especially with limited in-house "benches".
We have always known that there are many types of PMOs. But the way a PMO operates, its outputs and mandates vary widely in banking. Ironically, many high-level stakeholders hinder the adoption of agile methods, yet they still expect structured reporting on the progress of the portfolio, even if they do not have the resources to coordinate the PMO. Just grit your teeth and push through...
Despite the urgent need, the financial service industry is reluctant to change, either technologically or culturally, but it is not alone in this position. Leadership buy-in is usually good, but going down to the organization, managers need more specific guidance on changing the project requirements and how to execute the changed projects.
8Manage PMO that provides single-project and multi-project management, is designed by people who are familiar with the banking environment, especially for banks. The system protects project data integrity and keeps people honest. It is useful for any industry, especially banking.
To effectively monitor multiple projects, PMOs often need to enforce certain strategies and policies. 8Manage PMO, a rule-driven system, supports selective enforcement of policies during project planning and execution. It provides a rich set of configurable policies and controls for the following areas that can be organized according to enterprise, program and project level requirements:
- • Objectives and critical success factors
- • Scope control and phase measurement
- • Time and resource control
- • Cost classification and control
- • Review and acceptance process
- • Quality control
- • Outstanding issue control
- • Change control
- • Procurement control
- • Income value method
- • Communication, alerts and escalation policies
In addition to providing an effective policy mechanism for measurement and control, 8Manage PMO also provides anonymous reality checks designed to find out people’s perceptions of program or project health and to gather useful information for maintaining them.
Multi-project or multi-program management becomes more predictable if project requests and priorities are properly managed. 8Manage provides project request functionality to support requesting parties and responsible committees in proper communication, investigation and assessment of cost-benefit, risk and impact prior to finalizing prioritization.
Prioritization requires a multi-dimensional assessment of cost-effectiveness, availability of key resources, and risk management. 8Manage provides an investment considerations feature that allows management teams to review new project requests and existing projects, and make appropriate assessments and trade-offs as a whole and prioritize them.
After a new project request is approved and becomes a formal project, the Investment Considerations feature can continue to monitor planned and actual progress, risk, and planned and actual ROI.
Project and program-oriented collaboration capabilities can make or break multi-project or multi-program management. 8Manage provides the basis for individual and group coordination and communication, and its main collaboration functions for projects and programs are described below:
- Functional organizational management for projects and programs
- A common language for application, submission, delivery and acceptance of project and program deliverables
- Coordination and management of internal groups, committees and sites
- Coordination and management of customers, partners and suppliers
- Inter-organization communication and escalation management
8Manages project and program-oriented collaboration capabilities, combined with accountability and clear result management capabilities, will create efficient program management capabilities for organizations.
8Manage PMO focuses on scope and requirements management at the program and project levels, providing requirements requisitions to capture, filter, clarify and validate requirements, and offering requirements matrices for processing and tracking requirements from inception to completion. Project-level requirements information is automatically aggregated to the plan level in real-time.
8Manages Reality Check feature can be used to detect program-level and project-level scope communication issues and requirement instability issues. Requirement review and acceptance are automatically tracked, and requirement changes must go through a strict change control process. 8Manage also provides a real-time display component for analyzing and displaying requirement management information.
8Manage PMO automatically tracks the time and progress of each project activity and deliverable. Lower-level activities and the percent complete of deliverables are automatically aggregated into higher-level activities, projects, and programs. Overdue activities and deliverables are flagged, and SMS alerts are automatically sent to affected stakeholders.
8Manage PMO always tracks the originally planned time, the latest planned time and the actual completion time, highlighting their difference. It can also track multiple baselines (versions) of the project plan.
8Manage PMO supports project-level and program-level mandatory dependencies and discretionary dependencies and tracking, as well as project-level and program-level dependencies and tracking of key and shared resources. For each activity or deliverable, 8Manage tracks all direct and indirect dependencies. If a dependency falls behind a pre-defined tolerance, the dependency icon turns red.
8Manage PMO supports dependency (others depend on me) tracking, ensuring that each deliverable owner understands the impact of changes on others.
8Manage PMO provides comprehensive revenue, cost budgeting and tracking capabilities at the activity, project and program levels, with full tracking of project revenue via sales orders and contracts, and full tracking of project costs via timesheets, expenses, purchase orders, invoices and payments.
8Manage PMO offers the following project and program accounting functions:
- • Linked chart of accounts and cost classification defined by the program
- • Automatic calculation of labor costs based on timesheets
- • Automatic calculation of procurement costs based on purchase orders and contracts
- • Automatic calculation of expenses based on expense reports
- • Automatic check of supplier invoices based on purchase requests and purchase orders
- • Invoice timeliness and overdue management
- • Invoice and payment linkage
- • Budget deviation detection and reforecasting
- • Real-time linkage of project cost and planned cost
<8Manage PMO provides quality metrics functionality that allows project managers to set measurement goals and measure incremental and final deliverable quality. It also supports program managers to set different rules for programs, and review and approve quality control during the creation and closure of project deliverables under the program.
The 8Manage Reality Check feature can be used to detect process and quality issues of deliverables, and a real-time overview can be used to effectively publicize real-time quality metrics, reviews and approvals and reality check information, so that quality issues and results are visible to everyone as early as possible.
8Manage PMO automates the following to facilitate communication of projects and programs:
- Automatic alerts and notifications
- Automatic generation and delivery of weekly project reports
- Discussion forum
- Reality Check
8Manage PMO supports iterative review and acceptance of deliverables and short-term iterative requirements during communication to solve complex problems. Besides, 8Manage facilitates structured communication, provides real-time information, and encourages teams to make informed decisions.
8Manage’s most powerful communication tool is data agility and precision, which helps to drastically reduce communication errors in projects and plans, enhance teamwork and increase efficiency.
8Manage PMO provides the ability to search, request and assign and track resources across multiple sites, internal groups, activities and programs. It offers advanced resource management functions such as program-defined resource roles and resource balancing.
8Manage PMO resource management features include:
- Automatic resource search across websites and internal groups based on skills and availability
- Facilitating and tracking resource supply, allocation and usage
- Resource allocation to automate cost estimation and budgeting
- Comparison of planned and actual use of resources
- Automatic detection of resource overload and shortage
8Manage PMO provides rich resource planning and usage reports so you can analyze resource supply, allocation and usage for deliverables, activities, projects and programs.
8Manage PMO automatically detects the schedule, cost, resource and quality risks of the system and the impact of these factors, and extrapolates the final impact from the existing impact. If the risk is not properly managed, people can see the magnitude of the losses.
8Manage PMO provides an integrated risk register to record user-identified risks and track risks from start to finish. In the risk register, each risk is categorized and assessed by the probability of occurrence and impact, before and after the exact action is taken, so that people can easily understand the effect of risk response actions.
All risk information is automatically aggregated in real-time from the project level to the program level.
8Manage PMO supports e-supplier management, e-tender and e-procurement at activity, project and program levels. The tendering process is policy-driven, and its security and integrity are well-controlled by the system. For procurement, 8Manage supports procurement planning, purchase order, invoice and payment management, as well as contracting, subcontracting and outsourcing.
8Manage PMO allows project and program based procurement. Large and complex purchasing tasks can be projects that contain different types of purchasing activities. Procurement information will be aggregated according to the project WBS structure and schedule, and resources and dependencies can be managed with project and program management procedures.
8Manage PMO supports raising, assigning, responding, tracking, escalating and closing issues for activities, projects and plans, and supports the linkage of issues with risks, change requests and actions. 8Manage provides problem maps to support users to traverse linkages around problems. Escalated issues will be marked in red and the person being escalated must inform the escalated issue that has been received. Questions raised in lower-level activities are automatically aggregated into higher-level activities, projects, and programs.
8Manage PMO provides the Change Request function for recording and managing changes. The change request contains the following information:
- Discovered in
- Work Order
Each change request can be in any of the following states:
- Responsibility Received
- Proposal Submitted
- Determination Submitted
- Determination Received
During a project WBS change, the change request can be used for the change information record, and the change impact information will be permanently associated with the change request. When people need to find out the change impact of a specific change request or group of change requests, they can enter the change request number in the system that will provide the change impact information. All change requests are automatically aggregated in real-time from the project level to the program level.
8Manage PMO provides the following overview for communicating status, identifying issues and tracking necessary actions:
- General overview
- Cost overview
- Overview of stage information
- Resource overview
- Dependency overview
- Deliverable overview
- Risk overview
- Overview of requirement changes
- Reality check overview
- Overview of key measures and comparisons
8Manage PMO provides separate project views and aggregated plan views for each of the real-time overviews mentioned above.
The designers of 8Manage PMO are well aware of the importance of intangible factors that seriously affect the success of projects and programs. The designers designed 8Manage with built-in functionality for the management of these critical success factors. Built-in functionality will help project and program managers understand important but imperceptible factors they are not doing enough.
8Manage PMO supports project and program managers to select the key success factors suitable for their environment. The system intelligently integrates the most important success and failure factors, so program and project managers only need to focus on a few key factors. For example, it can integrate the following 5 factors that need the most attention:
Five success factors:
- • User participation
- • Supervisor support
- • Clear statements of needs
- • Reasonable planning
- • realistic expectations
Top 10 failure factors:
- Incomplete requirements
- Lack of user engagement
- Lack of resources
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of supervisor support
- Change requirements and parameters
- Lack of planning
- No/lack of IT management
- Insufficient technical ability
The key to effectively managing a few important factors with 8Manage PMO is knowing how to measure these hard-to-measure factors. Measurement helps program and project managers see where they fall short, as well as use their environmental knowledge and problem-solving skills to improve the situation. Without measurement, most of the time planning and project managers will not even realize the fact that they are not doing well enough in some important area.
8Manage PMO provides a business map function that supports program managers to monitor all projects in the program on one screen. The business map enables executives to view all programs and projects across the enterprise on one screen. The information reflected on the business map is aggregated in real time from the lowest level transactions (e.g. application, delivery and acceptance) to the highest level transactions. The information is not only instantaneous, but also delves into details. With 8Manage, deliverables can only be completed/accepted on the platform, so the information reflected on the business map is accurate, precise and agile.
The business map enables the top level of the organization to understand the lower and middle levels, who can stand out with good performance by taking advantage of the provided visibility. Clear, immediate, and reliable information keeps people honest, so everyone can focus on problem-solving and production.
Combined with other add-on modules, the PMO Business Map can be turned into an enterprise business map that supports executives in monitoring the performance of different business portfolios and projects within the enterprise. The changes after the add-on module are not the basic functions of the business map, but are business-specific functions.
Like the 8Manage PMO Business Map, the enterprise business map allows the top management of the organization to understand the middle and lower layers. It provides visibility for the middle and lower layers, enabling them to stand out with good performance. Clear, immediate, and reliable information keeps people honest and everyone can concentrate on production and solutions to problems.