Enterprise Project Management (EPM) occurs in large organisations where multiple projects are undertaken on an organisation-wide scale. Whilst individual projects may not be connected to one another, they do contribute to the organisation’s overall success – or failure.
The most common reason for project failure is a lack of alignment between the goals of the project and organisational strategy, EPM aims to address this failure.
EPM is driven by the most common reason for project failure, a lack of alignment between the goals of the project and the organisational strategy.
How does EPM differ to traditional project management?
Traditional project management focuses on the successful completion of a specific project, achieving a measurable, defined objective.
EPM places the emphasis on the enterprise and manages a range of projects to ensure that they meet the goals and objectives of the organisation. From this perspective a successfully completed project is of lesser importance than the value it adds to the organisation.
Whilst there are no set approaches to implementing EPM, it is vital that the organisation identifies what its specific goals are for using EPM early in the process.
Implementing EPM requires a change of mindset and habits of employees involved, which can prove difficult. Creating buy-in is best achieved by quantifying the benefits of adopting EPM, setting realistic expectations, particularly during early adoption, and gaining the support of senior management.
Initial implementation should involve small steps and flexibility to demonstrate success, followed by a quicker pace as employees start to see the benefits. Techniques that have proven effective include:
- Collecting ongoing feedback to refine the process in real-time and create communities of interest to help shape the deployment.
- Use an iterative approach.
- Focus strongly on the adoption part of the process and assess whether employees are moving to new tools and techniques quickly enough.
- Plan communications so staff get essential messages when they need them, in an effective manner.
- Create a core team responsible for the implementation.
- Provide contextual training with a hands-on, role-orientated focus.
- Underpin training with ongoing coaching so that employees have assistance when they need it.
- Keep senior management up to date and involved with the process.
Why implement EPM?
For enterprise level organisations with numerous, cross-organisational projects, adopting EPM should certainly be considered. Benefits to the organisation include:
Improvement of output quality
Having the ability to oversee all of the proposed projects across the organisation allows management to identify which projects add value and profitability, whilst lowering the priority, or rejecting, the projects which don’t.
Better allocation of resources
Resources within organisations are commonly scarce. Once projects of high importance and value have been identified, they receive priority not just in terms of resources, but also decisions, resulting in a higher chance of project success.
Productivity is improved by removing projects that contribute little or have a negative payoff to the organisation. Streamlining projects in this way means that unnecessary work is eliminated, and extra resources can be allocated elsewhere, paving the way for early delivery of projects.
Reduced costs Approving only projects that positively affect the organisation, and refusing or lowering the priority of those that don’t, leads to a reduction costs.
Implementing Enterprise Project Management can be beneficial to many organisations.