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Why CIOs Should Love Project Managers

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"Only two CIOs I’ve ever worked for over the past 15 years have really cared about Project Management."

These are the words of Colin Ellis, a CIO from Australia, in his fascinating blog "CIOs need to care more about project management"1 published by CIO.com.

He goes on, "Don’t get me wrong, the rest really cared that projects got done, usually quickly and with little time for planning or real customer engagement."

I’d go a step further than Colin, caring about Project Management is good but when you consider the benefits that an effective Project Manager can bring – this is an individual that you really should love.

Here are 7 Reasons Why CIOs should love Project Managers.

  1. The best Project Managers just make you, the CIO, look good. No strike that. They make you look great! Imagine reporting to the board that the BIG project is on time and within budget - the project that you devised to deliver the business plan (and all those shareholder dividends). You'd be a hero! Incentivise and encourage your PMO to deliver the means for you to have your moment of glory.
  2. Your Project Manager holds your business IT their hands. That means they hold your business' reputation with its clients and your (the CIO's) reputation with the board in their hands too. Why wouldn't you love someone with that power.
  3. The best Project Managers are always learning, always reading, always exploring and looking for new technologies and methodology. What a great resource to have on tap.
  4. Over time, the best metric of business success is customer satisfaction - every aspect of efficient PMO is geared towards delivering a better experience for the end user of your business IT.
  5. If you don’t get your Project Management talent right, everything else that you do will be liable to collapse like a game of IT Jenga. The right people, doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.
  6. Consulting firm, McKinsey reported that “17 percent of IT projects go so bad that they can threaten the very existence of the company.”2. Stop reading and digest that ... almost a fifth of projects become so toxic that they poison the organisation and "threaten the very existence of the company." You have to love the colleague whose job it is to prevent that happening.
  7. They've listened to your business' heart beat. IT systems have become an important competitive factor in most industries, technology is the heartbeat of your business and as projects are getting larger and touching more parts of your organisation, so the risk to the company, if that heart stops beating has grown too.

I think I'm lucky. Most CIOs I know, do appreciate the value of their PMO. One even tells the story of how his Project Manager insisted once on full stakeholder consultation at an early stage of a project - it raised eyebrows with the Board who just wanted the CIO and PM to "get on with it".

A competitor was racing to bring about a similar initiative but didn't consult end users until the project was almost ready to go live. The result was their project delivered on time, hitting the ground running on day one and the competitor's having to be reworked and rethought - it was delivered late and way over cost and it is still not right - giving clear competitive advantage to the proactive PM's organisation.

Great Project Managers seem to have a sixth sense for who and how a project will impact. So love them.

Many CIOs are on board. "CIOs must cultivate a culture of agility and customer service," says Frank Modruson, CIO at Accenture3. Frank is right and your PMO should be at the heart of that culture, after all as Mike Capone, CIO with ADP (@MikeCaponeADP) puts it, "Good people trump bad organizational structure every time."

Loving your PMO means giving them the time to deliver, and the tools and the talent to actualise your business plan through IT. Whether it is your internal team, external contractors or a Project Management as a Service approach - the love that you show to your PMO, will be returned exponentially where it matters - better customer service and experience and better results on the balance sheet.

What's not to love about that?!

Contact us to learn more about how Stoneseed's Project Management as a Service can give you access to project management staff, resources and tools at a flexible and predictable cost via a fully structured managed service.

Find out more about Project Management as a Service from Stoneseed

Sources:
1. CIOs need to care more about project management
2. Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value
3. Business And Technology Advice From The World's Top Executives

Knowing When To Say No
The Perfect Project Manager

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