PMO for a complex telco change programme

Our customer is a leading European Telco and Project One is managing the implementation of the customer’s Digital Transformation Programme. The objective is to deliver the future digital and core systems platform, across the two brands they operate, and to fully embed in the organisation via strong Business Change. The programme required the creation of a robust governance and control framework through pragmatic solutions, developed and managed by a dedicated PMO that continuously evolved as the programme has delivered. 


As part of the initial Project One engagement, the customer was very transparent that they did not have sufficient controls in place to run such a large, complex programme.  


  • No clear programme governance or established PMO best practices  
  • Dispersed governance and control functions throughout the business, with different standards and in different directorates  
  • Gaps in key control mechanisms, for example non-existent dependency management across the large programmes, multiple ‘ways of working’, and projects viewed as either business or IT. 

For the programme to be successful then a dedicated, strong PMO was a key element.


The Project One team consisted of the overall Programme Director, Business Change Lead, and a team of five skilled, knowledgeable resources to staff a dedicated PMO for the programme.


A clear goal from the outset was to use the current toolset available where possible and to ensure that the Governance and Control framework implemented could be reused for other large, complex programmes that the customer would undertake, now or in the future.


The Project One team started by mobilising all the PMO fundamentals such as clear, trackable Risks & Issues and key Governance Boards. Many of these we did using ‘tried & tested’ templates we had successfully used previously.


It was crucial to embed full business ownership from the outset to avoid being seen as just a systems delivery, the programme needed to be at the centre of the customer’s change agenda. Strong governance was enacted with an Executive Steering Group (ESG) that included six of the senior leadership team who helped to remove blockers and get priority calls made.



What the PMO team did


The early establishment of a ‘Design Authority’ was an example of a key success factor. Having a forum where the customer’s Technology and Business communities worked through the solution, particularly when it came to making decisions about ‘out-of-the-box’ vs. customisations. The PMO managed the agenda, ensured the inputs were all clear and consistent, and documented key decisions and approvals. The PMO Team also set about enhancing the existing tooling that the customer had. There was a level of tracking and reporting through the existing corporate tool that our Team updated and made available for the rest of the customer’s programmes, so they could also benefit from the enhancements.


The programme has three key partners delivering and testing the core of the solution; therefore, it was important to have a standardised way of them providing and sharing updates. The PMO worked diligently with these partners to take their feedback on what was important for them and built this into the controls, ensuring buy-in from the outset. As the programme has progressed, we have successfully migrated to Jira and again our PMO played a key role in getting that up and running and used efficiently for a large programme.


In the critical mobilisation period, the Project One PMO rapidly established key controls and a cadence of governance forums, underpinned by standardised reporting based on robust templates. The PMO also developed an onboarding pack outlining the ‘Ways of Working’ to quickly bring people onto the programme. We have continued to evolve the PMO as the programme has evolved. We’re multiple years into the delivery, with the successful launch of one brand and over 1.5 million customers on the platform.  


As we have moved from being a Greenfield implementation to a live platform, this has required the introduction of additional, updated governance and control that the PMO has overseen. The customer has also moved to a fully Agile model during the delivery, so the touchpoints with other projects and programmes has been adapted ensuring all the fundamentals and good practices remain. We have also moved to a smaller team of three PMO consultants to reflect the efficiencies of well-established governance and control framework.  


To learn more about our PMO model, please get in touch.

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