PM-Partners Creates Custom Project Management Methodology for AWA to Improve Efficiencies and Grow Business
~ Standardised Methodology Reduces Risk for AWA and Its Customers ~
Sydney, Australia -- December 1, 2008 -- Leading Australian project services firm, PM-Partners group, today announced that it has developed a custom project delivery methodology for AWA Limited to improve internal efficiencies, reduce risk for AWA and its customers and grow its IT systems deployment and project services business.
AWA's core business is Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Home Entertainment technology services. It supplies field, workshop and logistical services and support to ICT vendors, integrators, outsourcers and large corporate organisations across Australia covering a broad range of products from networks to desktops. AWA has a national workforce of 350 staff supplemented by around 300 agents in regional areas providing true Australia wide coverage.
AWA's standardised project delivery methodology -- STAR (the right Systems, the right Team, the right Attitude giving the right Results) -- is based on the Project Management Institute (PMI®) best practice guidelines to project management -- the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) -- and was tailored by PM-Partners to meet AWA's individual requirements.
STAR has three main objectives: to improve internal efficiencies, to reduce project risk for AWA and its customers, and to help grow AWA's IT systems deployment and project services business. This is currently around 20% to 30% of AWA's revenue base and the objective is to triple this over the next few years. While the business case for investing in STAR relies on savings from internal efficiencies, the biggest return on investment will come from growing the business.
"Deployment and project services -- everything from the installation of a handful of PCs to multiple server upgrades at remote sites around the country -- is an increasing part of our business," said Mark Rainbird, AWA's Managing Director.
"We have always used standard project management tools, but we needed something tailored to our business," he said. "With STAR we can improve efficiency in the delivery of projects and offer improved communications and risk management to our customers. That will have a knock on effect -- because we are better at delivering we will win more business."
AWA's STAR methodology ensures a consistent approach to the delivery of projects, saving time and reducing costs. Many of the efficiency gains come from better capturing customer requirements early in the project and avoiding duplicated effort.
"The primary saving is in being efficient in delivery. These savings come not at the arms and the legs stage but in the planning stage," said Rainbird. "For example, most organisations struggle with the internal handover from business development to services. With STAR we make those handovers seamless and accurate. We can get it right the first time and that creates efficiency gains and avoids double handling of information. You can waste huge amounts of time and money if you don't get that right, if you don't get people there when you need to."
To develop the best methodology PM-Partners facilitated workshops to get input and buy-in from key people, including AWA's business development staff.
"PM-Partners did a good job of facilitation, the best I have seen," said Rainbird. "One of the primary issues we debated was the role of the business development function. It was important everyone was conscious of the outcomes that flow from the structure of the deal and the information required."
AWA has also reduced project risk -- both for itself and for its clients -- by effectively communicating requirements to customers as early as possible in the project.
"It is knowledge management as much as anything else -- managing information coming from the customer in an efficient and timely way to get a more effective outcome," said Rainbird. "It is turning a series of less structured means of putting projects together into a structured format where you lessen the margin for error and improve the quality."
The consulting engagement with PM-Partners to develop the STAR methodology follows a successful track record delivering project management education to AWA. This engagement around education will continue with a medium-term objective to ensure all of AWA's team leaders are professionally certified around the same qualification.
"The methodology is PMI-based and there is a relevant qualification we will standardise on which many team leaders have already passed through previous training," said Rainbird. "We are doing an audit of where people are at the moment as a starting point."
In addition to project management education and consulting services, AWA is also looking to take advantage of PM-Partners' project management delivery services -- complementing AWA's own delivery teams with specialist staff when they are required.
"The nature of the work means you have ebbs and flows, regardless of the economy," said Rainbird. "There are also projects that have different characteristics requiring certain skills and not others. It is difficult to have that full range of skills available to you all the time in a cost effective way. Having a variable cost and resource available makes sense."
"AWA has demonstrated real organisational maturity in adopting a standardised methodology which is tailored to its business and the needs of its customers," said Pete Swan, joint founding Director of PM-Partners group. "We believe that the efficiencies and customer value this supports will be a significant contributor to AWA's continuing growth. We look forward to continuing to partner with AWA to provide whatever project management education, consulting and delivery services they require."
About PM-Partners group
PM-Partners group combines the capabilities of over 65 professionals to offer project services including education, training & certification, organisational capability development, project consulting & governance services, project management, project solutions, project management recruitment & contracting, electronic project management solutions and online tools.
PM-Partners group -- recognised in the BRW Fast 100 as one of the fastest growing companies in Australia with an annual growth rate of 50% over the last three years -- has a combined customer list that contains Australia's most prestigious corporate and government organisations.
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