Your IT PMO and Integrated Schedule Management

Your IT Project Management Office needs people, processes, and technology working together to deliver on the three primary goals of a PMO: enabling executives to build and manage portfolios, spotting and fixing project problems, and helping project teams to be successful.  One ingredient to this success is Integrated Schedule Management.

Projects are most often associated with a Gantt chart that ties the project together in some form.  Project methodologies often cloud the discussion of the schedule (Waterfall? Agile?), but you still need to tie together key dates and deliverables, and a CPM schedule is the basis for this.  But, not any schedule will do.  The schedule needs to allow for Enterprise visibility, so that the PMO can see your project in near-real-time at anytime.

Integrated Schedule Management means that all projects must reside in a shared repository, and roll-up through Programs (a collection of projects, organized under a common Project Director, VP, Department, etc.).  Multiple programs, roll-up to an enterprise portfolio.  (Terminology here can be used in multiple ways – don’t get hung up on it).  Data about those projects – like the resource utilization, milestones, progress, and so on – roll-up to the program and enterprise portfolio.  Ultimately, at the top, you get a picture of what is happening in the enterprise.

Integrated Schedule Management also means that the schedule should be practical to use at the project level.  A Project Manager should be able to easily take a template-based plan and build it out to the level of detail they require.  The project manager should be able to quickly use the plan to collaborate with the project team (both internal people and external, such as partners and contractors) to communicate and collaborate on the deliverables, plan / agree on / organize / assign the work, and status the work progress.

Project information should flow upwards to the Executive information (through the PMO).  The information should be boiled up, and easy to analyze in a easy-to-understand format so that the Executive sees information about exceptions, and can thus make quickly spot problems and make decisions.

In between the Project Teams and the Executive, the PMO team should be able to easily create, revise, and publish schedule templates (based on lessons-learned and best practices) and dashboards and reports.  Project details (like critical milestones, resource loading, and status) should automatically roll-up from these template-based schedules into the programs and portfolios.  The PMO must never waste time retyping, copying, and otherwise reformatting information from individual projects into the program and portfolio reports for management.  These details must flow up from the single-source-of-truth (the individual projects and the details in those), to the Executive-level reports.  The PMO team should spend their time analyzing exceptions and helping the project teams stay on-track to drive successful projects.

PMO Enabling Schedule Requirements:

  • One scheduling tool for the Executive, Project Managers, and Project Team Members (and the PMO), with one single source of truth
  • Automated reports and dashboards that roll-up plan and progress details
  • Flexible organization of projects, into programs, into a portfolio(s)
  • Exception reports for Executives
  • Templates created and managed securely by the PMO


Benefits from a single integrated scheduling management solution includes:

  • Increased visibility of projects and portfolios
  • Increased on-time and on-scope performance
  • Less waste
  • Improved time to ROI