Sheppard Mullin Rapidly Deploys a Standard Project Methodology with SharePoint
Sheppard Mullin decided to establish a PMO because they were experiencing many challenges at the senior executive level, in that there was very little management visibility into the progress of projects.
One of their main problems was that without visibility, the firm did not have a clear idea of the actual number of active projects, which also left management unclear about which resources were assigned to which projects. The fact that they didn’t know for sure which projects were active meant that they had difficulty assessing the status of projects or even who was leading some projects.
They also found that project timelines were proposed and not followed, so several projects dragged on for multiple years. This meant that projects were listed on annual budgets repeatedly, making it difficult for senior executives to justify more resources. The lack of communication between departments also meant that overlapping projects were not identified in time.
Before selecting a solution, Sheppard Mullin established their project management processes. The newly formed PMO would offer support at the project level, as well as coordinate firm-wide strategic initiatives through cross-project management. They set out to foster communication across multiple teams and synchronize activities among multiple projects. They would also maintain metrics and reporting across initiatives as well as the change management that comes with the new system.
So the firm introduced a standard project management methodology with five phases and five gates and selected BrightWork as the PPM tool of choice. It was very easy to implement because the firm had SharePoint in use already and it mapped to the processes they had established. They utilized both basic and complex templates and customized them to fit the organization.
They were also able to set up a simple project intake process using a customized form and simple workflow, weekly task reminders and project setup page.
BrightWork allowed them to rapidly deploy a standard project management methodology across the firm, allowing all project information to be centralized, resulting in greater structure, visibility, and achievement.
Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 550 attorneys in 11 offices located throughout California and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanghai.