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Project Management Guide for Your Work Environment. In this article I will share my experience as a Certified Project Manager in ISO 21500 by ProjectManagers.Org, gained in The ISO 21500 Workshop.
As with any major company, Hewlett-Packard Co. (“HP”) pursues new sales opportunities. I am involved in the Global Sales Opportunities for Personal Computer Services. These Services range from selling HP Care Pack Services (a type of Extended Service Plan), to HP Configuration and Deployment Services (imaging, custom BIOS, asset tagging, deployment, and more), to HP Priority Services (a personalized Service where an account manager is assigned to assist with any Services issue). These project opportunities are shorter term, but may last as long as one year to implement. The Services portion may be thousands to millions of US dollars per year. The customers may range from major technical companies, to worldwide ministries, to any other Global based companies. The key component of this type of project is scope, risk, communication, and the particulars relating to Service delivery in each country. The culmination of the project is the generation of a request for proposal (“RFP”) for the customer who is requesting the Service.
Many of these RFPs involve selling personal computer hardware and providing service and support in dozens of countries. HP provides PC hardware and Services in over 170 countries today. This includes North America, Latin America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. HP offers HP Care Pack Services that range from Next Business Day, Same Day support, plus travel coverage, defective media retention, accidental damage projection and other services. The Configuration and Deployment Services vary by customer need. In some cases this involves providing a customized BIOS, a customized image, or custom asset tag. HP also provides Deployment Services that includes attaching the device to the network to migrating data from the older PC to the new PC. This can also be arranged for off-hours support to minimize customer downtime. HP Priority Services are designed to enhance enterprise IT performance, working a customer’s IT staff around the world and providing the customer’s organization with premium global support. HP Priority Services are IT support services that include an HP Global Support Manager, who proactively plans and manages a customer’s IT support needs and provides tech-to-tech support to help improve the productivity and effectiveness of help desk resources.
These RFP responses require defining the scope, identifying the risks, identifying the sponsors, developing a strong communication plan with the many global resources, managing procurement (dealing with HP’s Authorized Partners), and dealing with cost, schedule, and of course quality.
- Scope is key as HP needs to understand what hardware and what type of Services are being requested. In some case, HP will make a recommendation for augmented services.
- There is always risk to be considered since working globally requires identifying Partners (and procuring them) in countries that HP does not sell Direct
- The sponsors are typically the sales representative, the services specialists, the country account managers, the delivery organization, and of course HP management
- Communication is key since my role requires me to contact, communicate our needs, and monitor the responses to assure the are provided in a timely manner
- Cost is a concern as we need to assure there is profit margin in countries where HP does not deliver directly and we engage HP Authorized Partners
- Schedule is also major concern as most RFP responses are required within two weeks. Services typically is considered later in the project, so this means expediting the responses from the delivery organizations
- Quality is key as the project coordinator must assure the responses are accurate and daily meetings are required for many of these instances
The RFP response requires all five ISO 21500 Process Groups:
- Initiating – defining the scope and the stakeholders is key at the beginning of the process. This also involved defining the business case and assuring it is profitable. It must be approved by governance bodies.
- Planning – this involves defining how and what will be responded. There are many components in identifying the appropriate hardware to be proposed and the appropriate service. The appropriate resources must be identified across HP and we need to assure they can respond in a timely manner. There are specific activities that must be planned, sequenced and the durations are very short. The appropriate communication is determined for the project team as well as the stakeholders. The risks must also be identified here, if there are late responses from the Regions, this can impact the plan. Communication is number one here as we need to assure the Regions and global personnel response in a timely manner, otherwise; we may miss the response date and miss the opportunity to bid.
- Implementing – this moves very fast. There are daily meetings to assure the inputs are being generated and the Regions are responding in a timely manner. The RFP response is reviewed and the project team is responsible for building the responses. The Project Team does not require developing as people are assigned in this role. This is more of a Functional organizational structure. The stakeholders must be kept apprised of the status and again the governance body must approve the RFP response. This may go through several cycles to get final approval. This time is also utilized to assure the proper HP Authorized Partners have been identified in each Region. These are typically already under contract and the Regions must indicate which Partner will be utilized for this particular deal.
- Controlling – Again, this moves pretty fast. The daily meetings monitor how things are coming together. The Regions must be monitored to assure they respond in a timely manner. This may require sending multiple e-mail messages or calling the contacts directly to assure their responses are timely. In this phase, all of the areas are monitored: scope, resources (people and other required deliverables), costs, schedule (this is critical), risks (assuring we get the timely responses), quality in the RFP response, and assuring the HP Authorized Partners have been correctly identified. Communications is probably one of the biggest factors here. Changes may occur in this phase where a service may not be available in a particular country and it may need to be upgraded.
- Closing – The ultimate closing is submitting the RFP response to the customer. Time is required to wait and assure that HP wins the deal. Once the deal is won, it moves to Operations and they implement the plan and assure the hardware is shipped and the services are made available to the customer. If HP does not win the deal, then the project is closed and we move to the next opportunity.
The HP RFP response utilizes the ISO 21500 processes. It utilizes the five Process Groups and the ten Subject Groups. The RFP response requires identifying the appropriate PC hardware and services to bid to the customer. Hopefully HP wins the deal, but is some cases this is not the case, we look to the next opportunity.