Simplifying Projects Through A Single PMO
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Simplifying Projects Through A Single PMO

Mike Sweeney, senior director of the Project Management Office for Delaware North
Mike Sweeney, senior director of the Project Management Office for Delaware North

Mike Sweeney, senior director of the Project Management Office for Delaware North

Serving thousands of guests around the world every day is no simple task. Whether it is a traveler at Los Angeles International Airport, a spectator at Wembley Stadium in London or a visitor at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, each guest experience demands its own strategic journey from idea to implementation.From technology upgrades for cashless transactions to kitchen redesigns for faster service, there is an ever-growing list of needs to keep pace in today’s hospitality landscape.

A recent report commissioned by Delaware North – The Future of Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality (FORTH) –charts the possible course of massive social transformations and explores how emerging technologies might forever alter hospitality and travel businesses. In anticipation of future trends,there is a need forcompanies to be able to make smart and scalable changes within their operations.

In a far-reaching and complex organizationsuch asDelaware North, we can often overcomplicate delivery models for our stakeholders. Service request tickets. Break-fix tickets. Architecture review boards. Project intake forms. Stage gating. We all have them. And it is safe to say our stakeholders who spend their days identifying new business, promoting the business andrunning the business would appreciate more simplicity.

One of the sentiments often expressed from stakeholders is a variation of “I don’t know where to go. I just want to get XYZ done. Tell me where to go and I’ll do it.”

At Delaware North, we have simplified our project-delivery model by uniting our Project Management Office (PMO) while branching our delivery models within a single PMO. There is no longer a need for an IT PMO and a Business PMO.

  ​An effective PMO should be evolving its processes to meet stakeholders’ needs – not asking stakeholders to adjust their expectations 

Delaware North’s PMO now consists of two equally vital teams: Guest-Facing and Enterprise Initiatives.

Our Guest-Facing team focuses on delivery that requires flexibility, quick turnaroundsand efficient pipeline optimization. These project managers require more in-depth knowledge of our product catalog and the ability to identify cross-project dependencies. In short, high-visibility initiatives that are extremely important to our guests’ day-to-day experiences.

Our Enterprise Initiatives team focuses on project delivery that requires an effective corporate strategy, executive sponsorsand project managers experienced in successfully delivering large, complex initiatives. In short, setting the company up for sustainable success.

The backdrop for the successful alignment of teams within this unified PMO is an organization that recognizes the importance of portfolio prioritization processesand the value experienced project managers can offer.

In exchange for that organizational approach, the company and unified PMO continually drive enterprise alignment while delivering short-term wins or long-term sustainability.

Our goal has been to unite our PMO, regardless of where the project comes from. It does not have to be IT vs.“business” projects. Instead, we concentrate on the skill set of the team required to deliver. Is our objective an immediate client need? Or are we delivering to position the enterprise for continued successes?

Aneffective PMO should be evolving its processes to meet stakeholders’ needs – not asking stakeholders to adjust their expectations.

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