An innovative solution created for a large healthcare company’s project management office highlights the sustained value that trusted consulting partnerships can generate.
Situation and Business Challenge
A large healthcare company with several million clients across the U.S. was running a project management office (PMO) to support its business teams for all the right reasons: to define robust processes, best practices, methods, and tools for driving projects to completion, ultimately reducing risk and raising efficiency in project execution.
A healthy PMO consists of two layers of resources that guide project execution. The first is a team of employees within the PMO that includes project managers, business and functional analysts, change management experts, and others directly involved in project execution. Above this team sits a layer consisting of stakeholders that surround the PMO — product managers, engineering managers, and business and technology leaders.
But this PMO, designed to enhance project efficiency, was paradoxically slowed by an inefficiency of its own — it lacked the expertise and bandwidth to provide matching of quantifiable business objectives (QBOs) with the consultants who could lead engagements to achieve them.
With an extensive history of working within the company’s PMO, AIM Consulting became aware of lag times for tasks such as scheduling of consultant selection, understanding QBOs, managing performance, and setting teams up to succeed.
Observing the need for a higher level of consultant support within the PMO, AIM’s Delivery Leadership practice derived an offering that proved highly beneficial for both the client’s PMO and AIM’s consultants operating within it.
AIM’s Delivery Leadership team features consultants with deep PMO experience across a wide range of industries, including a high-profile project where it created and evolved a PMO that enabled a smooth major airline merger.
With a 10+ year history supporting the healthcare company’s PMO, AIM was highly familiar with its operation. AIM’s team:
- Changed its consultant delivery model at the client to operate at scale;
- Built custom training for consultants to succeed at client;
- Developed an onboarding program that integrated with and enhanced their PMO materials, OCM practices, and delivery practices;
- Built a thriving consultant community where people stayed in a competitive environment, enjoyed each other’s company, became invested in each other’s success, and helped each other succeed;
- Supported day-to-day project execution and escalation;
- Brought industry and client expertise through each PM while upleveling team’s delivery, technology, and healthcare skills; and
- Managed the team through bi-weekly 1-1s focused on delivery.
Centralizing this level of support through the Delivery Leadership position has enhanced the PMO significantly, translating numerous client and consultant hours per week into more efficient practices, resulting in:
- Less time spent interviewing and onboarding consultants, with AIM selecting consultants from its own team for the specific client delivery need, saving the client from performing multiple interviews on their own;
- Faster consultant ramp-ups, with any contract issues handled quickly by AIM;
- Stronger ongoing consultant satisfaction, leading to less attrition; and
- Consistent, positive client feedback throughout the duration of this program that lasted 2+ years, regarding the quality of AIM’s consultant team and the diligence they exhibited in understanding and supporting the client’s business.
The engagement ensured the right consultant led each of the PMO’s projects, resulting in quality, timely delivery, and overall improvement of PMO methods.
Following the project’s high level of success, the client has continued its relationship with AIM and extended AIM’s consulting services more broadly throughout their business.
AIM Delivery Leadership has formalized this support model into a Client Delivery Executive role, which has been subsequently deployed for additional AIM clients throughout the U.S. including a major technology company, a major clothing retailer, and a major coffee enterprise. This solution is a model for how AIM executes client engagement and delivery, which we have operationalized into the CDE role.
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