Introduction to Enterprise Project Management
Enterprises want to know if their projects align with the organization’s strategic objectives, but how can they get organization-wide visibility and transparency? Enterprise project management (EPM) is a way to coordinate all projects in a company.
In this article, we’ll discuss EPM and why implementing one is essential for enterprises.
On this page:
- What is Enterprise Project Management?
- How is EPM Different from Traditional Project Management?
- The Benefits of Enterprise Project Management
- The Enterprise Project Management Model
- Implementing Enterprise Project Management
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What is Enterprise Project Management?
EPM is a way for enterprises to manage and organize projects. The goal is to coordinate unrelated projects to meet the same company objectives. Centralized management leads to more efficiency, lower costs, and better results.
Traditional project management (PM) focuses on one project. However, enterprise project management is complex. Instead of coordinating a team of people, EPM coordinates multiple teams. If a traditional PM builds a house, EPM builds an apartment complex.
The goals for traditional project management and EPM are also different. A traditional PM ensures a project finishes on time and within budget. EPM wants to know that projects provide value to the enterprise.
There are many benefits that enterprises can reap when using EPM. Some of them include the following:
- More visibility – A system that sees all ongoing projects leads to better management of resources and personnel. Let’s say Team A is short-staffed. Team B has someone that can fill that spot. Coincidentally, Team B is finishing up a project. An EPM team sees this and moves the person from Team B to A. Now, Team A can continue with a full team.
EPM also lets you see redundant projects. Combining these projects or eliminating duplicate initiatives frees employees to work on new projects better aligned with the company’s strategic objectives. In addition, this same visibility can simplify scheduling and reduce the likelihood of overtime pay for team members.
- Increased efficiency – When you know what everyone is doing, you can better manage resources across the organization. For example, you can combine two meetings that cover similar topics. This can give employees more time in the day to work, which means higher productivity.
- Reduced costs – An increase in efficiency can save organizations money. No enterprise wants to hire more people than they need. They also don’t want to bring in the wrong person or fund projects that don’t align with company goals. Project visibility means spending in places where it’s needed.
- Better project outcomes – When you see an enterprise’s project portfolio, it’s easier to analyze and mitigate risks. History proves better risk monitoring leads to better project outcomes.
Let’s look at the enterprise project management model. You might notice that some aspects are like traditional project management, while others are more high-level.
Whether it’s the management of one or multiple projects, risk analysis identifies and mitigates project risks. However, risk analysis is more complicated in EPM. This complexity comes from dealing with the risks of not just one project but many.
To achieve successful project outcomes, EPM must accurately estimate project costs and durations. Project managers would then follow the guidelines set by the EPM team. This way, everyone estimates their project costs and schedules the same way.
An EPM team needs to keep an eye on the project portfolio. They monitor four main things:
- Project Commitment
If risks occur, they can be dealt with immediately. If strategic goals change, EPM can adjust current projects to match the new goals.
Project Management Coaching
Successful EPM isn’t just about project management. This system helps project managers improve their skills. Managers within the EPM team can mentor new or inexperienced project managers, and this PM coaching leads to a more cohesive company culture. Overall, the goal is to increase communication between departments to ensure everyone uses the same PM language to manage their projects.
Escalation Issue Management
Enterprise project management is all about working together. When escalating issues, the EPM team should have a standard process that all project managers follow. Critical issues should be at the top of the list, and things that can wait can be put aside. This way, the EPM team can prioritize what needs to be addressed first.
How much time are people spending on a project? A good time-tracking system lets the EPM team see the most time-consuming parts of a project. For example, Replicon is an enterprise project management tool that tracks time. However, no matter what system is used, you should be able to see where inefficiencies are and address them quickly.
Use a centralized management system to keep track of resources and projects. There are many types of software programs to choose from. For example, Asana has a tool that gives the EPM team project reports. This is an easy way to provide executives updates on project progress.
Implementing Enterprise Project Management
In this section, we’ll look at the steps to implement an enterprise project management system. First, define the role of the EPM team and how it would fit into the current company. Most enterprises already have project managers. How would an enterprise project manager fit in? Who will this enterprise project manager be? And what resources do they need to implement EPM?
- Step 1: Build your team – The first step is to find an enterprise project manager. This person could be someone already in the company or with experience in this role from outside the organization. A good start would be to create a job description and see who fits that role.
- Step 2: Create a supporting office – The EPM supporting office helps the EPM team gather information. They might utilize corporate resources (i.e., business cases, etc.) to identify a new project, or they could do risk assessments while auditing the project’s progress. You can think of the supporting office as an assistant to the EPM team.
- Step 3: Inform stakeholders – Once you’ve built an EPM team, you’ll need stakeholder support. You’ll need to inform them of current projects, and they’ll want to see progress reports and other key project metrics. One way to do this is by using enterprise project management tools. Some examples of these tools include Monday.com or Smartsheet. These software programs allow stakeholders to see workflow and project schedules.
- Step 4: Use one project management methodology – The best way to ensure that all project managers are on the same page is by using a single PM methodology. You can choose from Agile, Waterfall, Hybrid, or a combination of these methodologies. The important thing is to adopt a standard methodology that everyone uses.
- Step 5: Get the right tools – In EPM, the right tools and software programs can streamline projects and workflows. They can provide reports or analyze project progress. Which software an enterprise chooses depends on company culture. Also, you’ll want to know what PMs are using now. There is software for everything, from scheduling to accounting to time-tracking. Most EPM teams use a combination of these tools and programs.
There are many good reasons to use an enterprise project management system. They include better visibility, cost reduction, and more efficiency. Once you’ve decided to implement an EPM system, follow the steps in this article to ensure you have the right team and tools in place. Project Management Academy can provide more information on using your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification for enterprise project management.