The Office of Project Management (OPM) is responsible for overseeing large and/or critical information technology projects across the executive branch, with the goal of mitigating risk while averting avoidable delays that could lead to increased spending. Project Managers use their knowledge of critical planning and organizational activities to assist state agencies in successfully shepherding IT projects to completion. These individuals understand overall agency missions, information technology project objectives, computer application functionality, elements of each critical-success path and overall project management best-practices.
Portfolio Management is the process of selecting projects that have the highest return on investment for the Commonwealth and will help the Commonwealth meet its strategic goals. The OPM can provide the following Portfolio Management services:
Business Case Analysis – Review project requests and candidate projects to ensure they will meet business needs. This service is similar to the Capital Planning Process.
Project Portfolio Assessment – Provide a high-level assessment of all projects within a Cabinet, Office, or Department and recommend if specific project(s) should be assessed further.
Project Tracking and Oversight – Track the status and progress of all projects within an agency.
Project Debriefs - Provide presentations regarding a project to the stakeholders or other groups.
Application Portfolio Assessment – Provide a high-level assessment of all applications within a Cabinet, Office, or Department and recommend if specific applications should be assessed further.
The OPM can provide the following Program/Project Management Services:
Program / Project Start-Up – Assign project managers during project initiation when internal project managers may be unavailable. When an agency project manager becomes available, the project will be handed off to the agency staff.
Full-time Program / Project Staffing – Assign COT program/project managers and/or assistant project managers to agency projects. This service may be used when internal project management expertise is lacking or unavailable.
Program / Project Recovery – Provide project management services to projects that are struggling and need assistance to get back on schedule/budget/scope.
Program / Project Assessment – Review a program or project by interviewing key project staff and gathering and analyzing information about the project. The information gathered is used to determine the project’s status, including whether the project is meeting its objectives, whether the project is on schedule, whether the project is over budget, etc. Information gathered is used to determine what corrective actions should be taken, if any.
The OPM provides free support and guidance to the government IT project manager community for those who are new to the field or wish to improve their skills.
TRAINING FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT,BUSINESS ANALYSIS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICE MANAGEMENT
The Office of Procurement Services (OPS) and the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) completed a statewide enterprise service contract for PM, BA and ITSM Training. The vendors for this contract are Tandem Solutions, LLC, Louisville, KY and The Solarity Group, Lexington, KY.
Both vendors shall deliver training in three (3) delivery modes. These include a conventional classroom setting at either a Commonwealth or a vendor location, self-paced instruction delivered to the desktop via the Internet and instructor-led classes (distance learning) delivered to the trainee via the Internet.
The catalog of classes includes training for a wide range of topics related to project management, business analysis and Information Technology Service Management, including ITIL. The Office of Procurement Services can add additional training subjects if they are within the scope of the contract. The contract requires both vendors to maintain an up-to-date website of all training titles and state pricing.
If you have PM, BA, or ITSM/ITIL training needs, please contact the vendors. Their contact information can be found here.
PROJECT MANAGER NETWORK
The OPM supports events that allow project managers from different Cabinets/Agencies to meet and network. These events include:
KY'S PROJECT MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK (KPMF)
Kentucky’s Project Management Framework , was developed in large part upon the Project Management Institute's Project Management Body of Knowledge to serve as a guide for use on Commonwealth information technology (IT) projects of all types, sizes and complexities. However, prior to understanding the KPMF, it is important to define what a project is, what project management is, what a project manager is, and what skills and resources a project manager needs to be successful.
What is a Project?
“A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. (Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute) Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Unique means that the product, service or result is different in some distinguishing way from all previous endeavors.
What is Project Management?
“Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet the project requirements.” Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute.
What is a Project Manager?
“The project manager (PM) is the person assigned by the performing organization to lead the team that is responsible for achieving the project objectives.” Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute.
Project Management Skills and Resources
Successful project management requires that certain skills exist in the PM and certain resources be in place in the organization. Among these are basic skills in people management, established processes for organizational planning and communication, availability of tools that support management processes and a culture that values cooperation, teamwork and planning.
Project management requires overall management knowledge. The principles, practices, concepts, techniques, tools and skills of general management are the foundation for successful project management. Core management competencies include the ability to work with people, to take responsibility, to lead a group, and to make decisions.
Project management requires leadership skills. Leadership is no about titles or positions. A leader is a person of influence. According to leadership expert John Maxwell, a leader is one that "knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way". A leader will have a well-rounded set of skills that include oral and written communication, team building, coaching, mentoring and a desire to help individuals and organizations become successful.
Project Management Constraints
The basic goal of project management is to produce an acceptable deliverable, typically referred to as the project scope, within the constraints presented. A constraint is something that may affect the execution of the project. Typical constraints include, but are not limited to: scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, and risks.
The project itself will determine which constraints are most important. For example, a legislatively mandated starting date could make schedule the most significant constraint. Typically there are inherent interrelations between the various constraints. Increasing one may automatically increase at least one of the others. For example, if the project scope cannot get completed on schedule, resources must be employed for longer than anticipated to complete the project work or additional staffing might be hired to complete the work on time. Either way it translates to additional cost.
Once the constraints have been defined for a project, they must be continually revisited to ensure that their delicate balance is maintained throughout the project life cycle or that other constraints have not been added (i.e., funding cuts once started).
The KPMF is a Guideline
It is not the intent of this Framework to require every state IT project to follow everything listed here; the KPMF outlines, at a high level, all of the things that need to be considered during the life cycle of a project from initiation through close out. Not everything discussed will pertain to every project, but it likely will pertain to projects of any significant size, budget or scope.
Likewise, the forms that are provided as links within the framework are not required in the form they are shown and may not even be created for some projects. As best practice, they are certainly recommended for most IT projects. It is recommended to check with your agency IT organization to determine if they have approved/required templates, processes and procedures to be followed in addition to the KPMF.
It is hoped that this documentation will be useful to those “accidental project managers” new to the field as well as seasoned project veterans.
For those assigned to their first project, this framework will provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for at least familiarizing yourself with all the concepts and complexities of project management. It is recommended that you read through all phases/processes and then focus on the project priorities in your near future. The OPM also suggests that you consider taking the Governmental Services Center class, “An Introduction to Project Management”, where more detail is provided.
For seasoned veterans or contract staff hired specifically for their experience with projects, this framework is a means to find documents that the OPM has approved for use within the state system.