An Agile, Lean PMO for the Sport AUS

Zen Ex Machina creates an Agile PMO for Sport AUS to help manage agile at scale.

The Situation

Zen Ex Machina was engaged to assist the CIO improve their portfolio management by creating greater transparency of initiatives in the pipeline, the capacity of their development teams, and the true cost of delivery.

The Solution

ZXM used the PMO as the primary vehicle for improving the Sport Australia ICT portfolio. ZXM consultants visualised the value chain across the project, program and portfolio layers to highlight to senior executives that delivery was suffering because of overcommitment. In essence, in trying to do everything, resources were stretched, context switching was high, and the program was slow to deliver. To move the PMO away from a simple reporting function and equip it to address these issues, ZXM:

  • Made incremental changes to project management processes through use of Kaizen.
  • Coached program managers to understand and utilise outcomes, product-based planning rather than focus solely on work-breakdown structures and tasks.
  • Coached and encouraged program and project managers to undertake iterative planning and review cycles.
  • Coached project managers to perform retrospectives so that risks and issues could be identified early and continuous improvement commenced.
  • Coached business to improve their ownership of their product management and Product Owner roles
  • Coached teams (both software development and business-as-usual) to use agile frameworks, like Scrum, for their work.
  • Aligned traditional reporting with the new product-based, two-weekly, project cycles.
  • Visualised the changes to flow using a PMO Kanban aligned to existing PRINCE2 stages.
Sport AUS portfolio planning with strategic initiatives (Epics)

The Results

Within 6 months, the PMO's role changed from reporting to one of supporting and facilitating communication, collaboration, and good agile practices. Within 12 months, ZXM helped the AIS widenned its use of agile frameworks to Dev Ops, Infrastructure, Service Desk, Web Content Management, and HR teams. Today, the PMO shepherds all projects through their agile product development framework and champions the use of agile and Lean practices across all aspects of delivery.

Improved productivity

150% improvement in delivery capacity through removing waste and focussing on relentless improvement through Scrum.

Improved risk profile

Projects' risk profile has dramatically decreased through the transparency of all initiatives in the portfolio's value stream.

On-time delivery

Agile projects are always on-time and rarely suffer issues with budget or scope.

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