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Maturing project management
Name: Christina Sejr Pedersen
Role: Project Management Director in Coloplast
Size of PMO: 4 in PO, 19 PM's
Date of Establishment of PMO: Dec. 2006
The projects in Coloplast were at that time very immature. Christina's first tasks were to define and map projects, educate the project managers and have the organisation acknowledge projects as a discipline. Hereafter a systematic approach towards portfolio management was introduced - via steering committees and a value stream based project model. Christina was a one-(wo)man army working with implementing this new project management culture.
In the time passed she has managed to establish a project management office enclosing project managers, senior project managers, program managers and a project office with the coordinating responsibility. This department is in total around 30 people located in Denmark and Hungary.
The value stream Christina today is involved in - the supplier value stream - is at this point in time well organised and very well structured, grasping both global projects and local activities around at the sites. The core of the global portfolio is divided into Product Support projects and Capacity projects where each sub-portfolio has a fixed steering committee. Each month there is a steering committee meeting within both portfolios, coordinated and hosted by the project management office. Before each meeting a portfolio report is conducted, where an overview of all ongoing projects is displayed and a status is reflected. -Everything because of her efforts.
An aggressive portfolio management has been implemented where intake and prioritisation of projects is controlled trough the steering committees. All projects have a project agreement, a business case and a monthly status report. The different project types have been prioritised according to what adds most value to the company.
Christina is proactive in her work with key performance indicators. She continually evaluates what performance indicators ads most value to the portfolio and the company. This has resulted in a change from measuring milestone completion to measuring of effect. Having worked intensively with milestone completion for some years, she believes that the organisation is at a level of maturity where they can change the focus to project effect. In this negotiating process she has demonstrated her ability to understand the commercial needs and the maturity of the organisation.
Working with key performance indicators she has a good understanding of the influence of the political processes working in the organisation. She has in the past year been working along with the coordinating project office team to display a more honest picture of the portfolio. This has resulted in a more open discussion regarding problems occurring in the projects and time issues.
In her work she demonstrates her proactive leadership style in more than one way. Beside the change in key performance indicators she is responsible for starting up a "sprint program". This will entail a group of projects with one full time allocated project group and is inspired by the Scrum process often seen in the field of IT projects. She has discovered a need from the organisation to have a shorter lead-time to be able to fulfill strategic goals, which she has reacted upon.
In an organisation as Coloplast there is a large need for education in project management. This is something Christina has conducted. She has become an expert within the field, because she in her spare time spends a lot of time reading scientific articles published concerning project management. She educate employees globally both in the project management role, the project office role, the project owner role and the role of steering committee. In addition she also educates the employees at all levels in stakeholder management. Recently she has been invited to subsidiaries in China to educate them too. This will be done with enthusiasm and a great understanding of Chinese language and culture, since Christina is one of the few Danes studying Chinese.
Christina's management style is characterised by her ability to empower her employees. She gives them great responsibility and trusts them to do the best they can and her door is always open for sparring, discussion or just small talk. The senior project managers and the programme managers are rarely by their desk, but she nevertheless manages to keep a spirit of togetherness.
In the organisation the project management department is known all the way to the CEO of the company, due to Christina's fantastic ability to network. Her stakeholder management is very professional and she can talk to everybody. The close relationship with top management is an advantage in relation to the position of the department when considering resources, budget etc., but also when the program managers need assistance or guidance in the projects, they can benefit from the close connection.
In addition to her role as director of project management in operations, Christina is voluntarily working to establish a project management network within the company. The network has at this point been hosting one great event and is working on hosting another one soon.
Coloplast is a Danish company founded in 1954 and is now listed on the Danish stock exchange. The company has more than 7000 employees around the world, yearly revenue of more than 7 billion DKK (1,25b USD) and with production in Denmark, China, Hungary, France and the US. Coloplast addresses the need of people with taboo related disabilities such as stoma, continence and wounds.
Christina is Master of Political Science from Aarhus University in 1994. She started her carrier in the Danish Ministry of Education where she was advisor and project manager. Later she has been project manager/ program manager in the Danish Business Authority and in FOA (A large Danish Trade Union).
Christina's top tip for overall PMO success is:
'Focus every activity in the PMO on adding value to the business. Don't just do it because it says so in the PMBOK or other places'