Driving PMO Impact 5

This is how I think about PMO; moving the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to build the full picture.

Before you start a puzzle, do you count how many pieces you have, to make sure you are not going to be wasting your time before you start? What happens if pieces are missing? Do you start with the corners, the edges to give you a structure first? Would you attempt to complete a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the box to guide you?

Are the two people to the side directing the PMO – or are they having a-ha! moments as the picture emerges?

If we think about the puzzle pieces as DATA and the picture on the box as INFORMATION, to complete the puzzle we need to use our KNOWLEDGE of how to do it – and our WISDOM to remind us that just because a piece fits somewhere, it may not actually be in the right place!

PPM tools will provide a place to record DATA

PPM tools will enable that data to be organised into INFORMATION

A PPM tool may even enable organisational context to be applied to provide KNOWLEDGE

But then what? How do we get to insight, to actions and to value?  How can we complete the jigsaw puzzle?

Only PART of creating insight involves technology – PPM tools provide a way to enhance and improve the efficiency of effective processes or activities, but they are not a replacement for the other services that PMOs still need to provide

Part 4 of this series of posts started with a quote from a book published by Wiley in 2008, Creating Market Insight by Smith & Raspin.

The book explores the differences between organisations that manage to turn data into insight and value, and those that don’t – making the point that even in 2008, executives have access to huge amounts of computing power with which to make sense of the market but organisations still become extinct due to lack of ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS.

The Cranfield School of Management – a top choice for MBA students in the UK – created a model to illustrate this transformation process, called the “Data-to-Value Wheel”.  There were significant contributions made by this work towards the understanding of how data-to-value transformations work;

  • The difference between KNOWLEDGE and INSIGHT
  • Defining insight as only that knowledge that is an organisational strength; of all the knowledge an organisation may have, only that knowledge which meets the criteria of an organisational strength may truly be called insight
  • Value creation is the end point of a chain of transformations
  • Failure to create value could be due to a break or weakness at one or more points in the chain

There were actually 10 factors identified by the Cranfield work that influence how effective the data-to-value process is; if you want to know more about them then the book is still available!

A similar piece of work in 2004 by Cranfield’s Centre for Business Performance focused on Extracting value from data – the performance planning value chain or PPVC, which provides “a systemic process for using data to enhance decision‐making, bringing together a vast array of tools to extract value from data and focus efforts on what will add real value to the organisation.”

The PPVC is subsequently covered in the Handbook of Corporate Performance Management  published by Wiley in 2011.

So what actions can PMOs take to address this today?