We recently partnered with Andes Global Trading, a fast-growing organization in the food industry, on a program management training project. As the business continued to grow, it was experiencing difficulties in managing its rapidly expanding project portfolio. With its limited resources and a need to deploy their limited bandwidth toward the right projects at the right time, Andes engaged Clarkston for advisory and coaching support related to program and project management, continuous process improvements, and effective team management.
Clarkston worked closely with the Program Management Office (PMO) Lead to establish a PMO based upon an evaluation of where the organization was within its maturity and the most critical areas of focus. Immediate attention was placed on regaining control of its growing portfolio through the use of portfolio management tools, guidance on portfolio balancing, and effective project management practices.
The advisory and coaching model included 1:1 sessions and observations with real-time feedback in the PMO Lead’s day-to-day operations. Once the PMO was established and progress was seen in the execution of projects, Clarkston provided coaching to continue to hone the key skillsets required to maintain the PMO and the organization’s needs around continuous process improvements, leveraging Lean and Six Sigma concepts.
The impact of the program was immediately apparent. The PMO Lead gained control of the portfolio management process and program execution. Meetings were run more efficiently, and teams walked away with clear understanding of the actions expected of them. The use of standardized tools reduced rework and delays and freed up additional bandwidth toward more value-add activities.
Overall, the structure and clarity provided the team members with a level of accountability previously unseen. The PMO Lead demonstrated an elevated ability to influence the team (despite lacking direct authority) and began to exhibit confidence and comfort in navigating the various personalities toward productive project outcomes. To make such progress while operating within a nimble, fast-moving environment was a feat within itself.