Step 2: Planning
This post is part 2 in a series that will show you how to use Microsoft 365 to run your PMO.
This is really the start of your project to use Microsoft 365 to run your PMO.
We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to put real thought into what you want to achieve and how best to design, build and future-proof it for your company.
Our archives are full of drawings on paper and flip charts, captures of white boards and their digital equivalents that have been used to drive planning discussions and work through scenarios with teams to maximise the likelihood of getting it right (and minimising any re-work) once the actual building starts.
Why? Because trust us – it is a LOT harder to unravel things once you’ve started in Microsoft and realise you’ve gone off down the wrong track. We learned that lesson the hard way, so you don’t have to.
There’s some customer feedback at the end of this post.
Thinking about a PMO as a customer service provider, there are several guiding principles you can use to frame your planning. Some examples of principles for good customer service are:
- know what your customers consider to be good customer service
- take the time to find out customers’ expectations
- follow up on both positive and negative feedback you receive
- ensure that you consider customer service in all aspects of your approach
- continuously look for ways to improve the level of customer service you deliver.
The great thing about using Microsoft 365 to run your PMO is that you are meeting your customers where they already are, using a platform they log into daily to get their work done.
We are a big fans of De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats approach, which can be used individually and in groups. This infographic is based on the approach for process improvement, and sets direction relative to the bigger picture.
Below are some of the questions we like to cover up front, and to revisit as we get closer to committing to a design. They are very similar to the questions we ask of those considering implementing a PPM tool; you may be surprised to find that most of these questions have little or nothing to do with how Microsoft 365 works, and everything to do with how your PMO works.
Once you’ve got the answers to these questions, you’ll have a pretty good idea of the scope of the work ahead of you. You can then start thinking about the features and functions available with the type of Microsoft 365 subscription your company has that could enable all this to happen more efficiently and effectively – helping your PMO and your customers to work smarter, not harder.
What have you got to work with?
You may recall that in part one of this series, we suggested a good place to start in getting your IT team on board with using Microsoft 365 to run your PMO is by clarifying which type of licenses your company has.
For companies there are 2 size-based licensing tiers:
- If your company has 300 people or less, then a mix of Business Standard and Premium licenses is common.
- For companies with more than 300 people, then a mix of Enterprise E3 and E5 licenses are more likely.
What does this mean?
The differences between Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise level licenses aren’t immediately obvious in everyday use as they mainly relate to background levels of information security; the differences between Enterprise E3 and E5 can start to have an impact on the Power Platform aspects of your design.
- People with Business level licenses can store less emails and documents.
- SharePoint Plan 2 makes it slightly easier for finding documents or preventing them from being shared or deleted if you’re dealing with large volumes on an Enterprise scale.
- Power Platform Plan 1 a) limits the number of connectors you can use with non-Microsoft applications and b) you can only create Canvas Power Apps.
- The standard Power BI license is for individual use only; a Power BI Pro license is required to share interactive reports and dashboards with others. You don’t need to have E5 to get a Power BI Pro license, but upgrades are charged on a per-user basis – so you may have to be content with non-interactive report sharing via PowerPoint or PDF.
We’ll cover the Power Platform differences in more detail later on in the series – the relevant Microsoft document runs to 31 pages!