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Adoption of Enterprise Project Management

Posted by Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc. on Saturday, December 27, 2008

Virtually no one in the Project Management space addresses the real challenge in implementing Enterprise Project Management systems… Adoption.  There are some practitioners who talk about cultural change, but they tend to have a narrow focus on getting executive sponsorship.  This sponsorship is essential but in no way guarantees success.

Pinnacle understands that there are a number of key factors that need to be planned at the beginning of any implementation or revitalization of a Project Management System. Whether the software tool is from Primavera, Deltek, Microsoft, PlanView or Computer Associates; many Enterprise Project Management deployments fail to deliver the expected results.  To avoid these failures and shortcomings, consider the following when implementing an Enterprise Project Management system.

EPM Goals 

  • Set realistic goals and expectations based on your organizations maturity and ability to absorb change. Lay out your desired Project Management capabilities and tie them into very specific organizational business drivers.
  • Communicate Goals clearly and express them in terms of contribution to the bottom line or specific business problems to be resolved.  Have these stated by the most senior executives and then repeated down the line. Keep lines of communications open throughout the implementation. 
  • Publish EPM accomplishments and take on feedback from stakeholders.


  • Build teams of different types of stakeholders, get them to the table and participate in the deployment. An executive giving their yes vote is key, but realize there are many no votes out there.
  • Extend your vision past project, portfolio and resource managers.  Finance and Accounting are almost always key in Enterprise implementations.
  • Running people through Training classes does not guarantee Adoption. Contextual Training, followed up with Structured Coaching, mentoring and measuring results should always be included.
  • Find someone who has implemented Enterprise Project Management before and bring them in as part of your team.
  • Support users with information that illustrates “A Day in the Life of” their role.  Make it accessible and contextual.

EPM Implementation Plan 

  • Implementing Enterprise Project Management in iterations is critical.  Base your plans on how much change you can handle. Deliver quick and visible wins, and solve the most valuable problems first.
  • Design for Sustainability.  Many first time implementations get mired in detail or get carried away with process for the sake of process.  Keep your processes, reports and templates as simple as possible to meet your business drivers.
  • Measurement is key. Your plan should include clear Adoption metrics for Project Managers, Resource Managers and others. If it does not then you will not know when you can claim success.
  • Look at implementation efforts for other types of solutions in your organization.  Implementations of CRM and ERP systems are excellent examples to learn from.

EPM Tools

  • Acquire Enterprise Project Management software that maps to your business. Don’t  assume an analyst who doesn’t know your culture, business or current situation knows what you need. Don’t assume that the system with the most ‘bells and whistles’ will work for you.
  • Evaluate potential software against use cases.  If you can’t build use cases, then you are not ready to look at software.  Not having defined requirements kills many software projects
  • Do not leave old overlapping systems in place.  Ensure that double data entry is eliminated and that there is no room for two sets of books.

EPM Processes

  • Determine how processes flow across the Enterprise.  Ensure that information requirements from other stakeholders are determined and supported in your Enterprise Project Management processes. Build EPM processes so they can be mapped to your organizations roles and to EPM deliverables.
  • Standards. Identify where consistency is needed across the Enterprise (e.g. standard resource names or calendars) and provide templates or approaches that make it easy for project managers to use these and get started quickly.
  • Allow for Localization. Through Planning Standards make it clear what the minimum required is. Allow organizations to localize within that.
  • KISS. Define a minimum level of detail across the Enterprise and allow organizations to adapt from there. Encourage organizations to keep their plans simple to start with and add more detail as they get more experienced.

When you have outlined a plan that is geared to achieving buy in from all stakeholders and measures how Adoption is incrementally being achieved, you have significantly improved your chances of success for your Enterprise Project Management solution.

Take the guesswork out of implementing a Enterprise Project Management solution and let Pinnacle help you ensure adoption success. Contact Us today to schedule a consultation with one of our EPM experts.

Learn more about our Enterprise Project Management services.

Talk to a Pinnacle professional regarding an EPM solution today! Give Us a Call or Send Us an Email  


Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Biotechnology, Engineering & Construction, Technology, Oracle Primavera, Government & Public Sector, Training, Microsoft EPM, Enterprise Project Management (EPM)

Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.

By Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1993, Pinnacle provides a wide range of professional services through 4 primary service lines: Management Consulting, Technology Systems Implementation, Training & Education, Functional Fulfillment. Pinnacle has extensive experience implementing and optimizing enterprise-wide capabilities in all Project Management related practices.

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