We all know that a quality PPM solution is nothing without good quality data.

Having worked with large scale organisations over the last 20 years, and seeing which clients gain the most benefit out of our Cloud based PPM solution – ProgrammExpress, it is obvious that good project governance will lead to quality data and maximum benefit for the organisation in terms of having up to date project information across Transformation Portfolios and Programmes.

So does that mean that organisations with a low project maturity level and a lack of good project governance cannot adopt a PPM solution?

In my experience, good governance is not the only thing that is required, and in some instances is not required at all.

Back in 2005, we had an opportunity to work with a very large organisation to support the tracking of a large transformation programme, where they had no governance and a very low project maturity. It was a business, as opposed to IT transformation, and typical of most organisations where the quality of the subject matter expert was high, but managing their initiatives in a structured project management way was low.

Even though we had designed a PPM solution that would work well with low project maturity, the lack of governance and structure did lead to concerns about the quality of the data, and ability to maintain.

Here’s the answer……good senior management sponsorship!!

RAG Status Report
RAG Status Report

The Managing Director had a 9am weekly Monday meeting, and only wanted the output from ProgrammExpress and just one report….a high level RAG Status summary, and required a comment ‘NO UPDATE PROVIDED’ where the data was lacking for a project. For the RAG status summary to be correct, the plan, costs, benefits, key issues/risks and decisions required would need to be populated, all the cornerstones of a good project update.

In the last 20 years of providing PPM solutions, this was one of the best examples of the system being well used and returning benefit to the client.

The lesson learnt here is that Senior Management support of the PPM solution, and the knowledge that they are using the information from the system regularly, will ensure quality data even without structured project methodologies in place.

Of course, this theory applies for the lighter PPM as opposed to the ‘rich in functionality’ Enterprise PPM solution, where high project maturity levels will still be required due to their complexities.