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Chapter 8. Facilities and Equipment Support

Chapter 8. Facilities and Equipment Support

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The PMO will be able to achieve these functional objectives by
working closely with (1) project managers, to help them identify requirements for facilities and equipment as part of their physical r esource
planning; and (2) business units that currently provide this type of support
to project managers. In turn, the PMO can establish the procedures
necessary to requisition facilities and equipment for each project effort.
This PMO function is inherently needed more in organizations that have
significant or specialized project equipment needs and extensive project
facilities requirements.

Project Environment Interface Concepts
The PMO can use its comprehensive understanding of project management
requirements to plan and support facilities and equipment needs in the
project management environment. This ranges from addressing individual
project needs to establishing cross-project support capability for facilities
and equipment.
In many cases, the relevant organization will have an existing capability
to provide facility and equipment support, likely as two separate business
functions. The role of the PMO is to bring that support into close alignment
with project needs while serving the business interests of advanced
planning and reduced costs. To that end, the PMO serves as an interface
for project managers with such business support units, thereby reducing
the project manager’s need to attend to such matters.
The PMO’s oversight of facilities and equipment can provide an important accounting function. If the nature of business is one that requires
reusable specialized equipment — for example, heavy equipment for
construction, gauges and testing equipment for laboratories, and toolkits
for hardware maintenance — the PMO can be the source for planning
and allocating equipment use at the times needed by different projects.
Likewise, equipment for anticipated work across multiple projects can be
procured in bulk to realize cost savings, in contrast to expensing equipment for individual projects at no cost benefit. Similarly, the PMO’s
perspective across projects will enable it to examine facility acquisition
and assignment opportunities that maximize cost savings to the relevant
organization and to the enterprise locally and worldwide.
Finally, the PMO performs a combined oversight and support role
by ensuring that facilities and equipment within the pr oject management environment adequately support project teams in their pursuit
and achievement of project objectives. This includes identifying and
acquiring the computing hardware and software needed to get the job
done, as well as monitoring the needs for of fice space and office

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fixtures, furnishings, and equipment needed by project team members.
Again, this PMO support reduces the administrative burden and allows
project managers to spend more of their time on direct project management efforts.
This PMO function is merely one of coordination for collocated project
teams, where the business unit to which they are assigned inherently
provides the necessary office space and equipment for the project team
member. Conversely, where project teams are more transient — separate
facilities needed at various locales for specific client engagements, globalreaching projects requiring travel, frequent turnover of personnel assigned
to the project effort — the PMO can play a facilitating role in helping
project managers achieve project objectives while also monitoring business
interests in the process.

Business Environment Interface Concepts
The PMO can accomplish the “facilities and equipment support” function
by being a coordinator and collaborator in the business environment.
The intent is not to replace any current business unit functionality but,
rather, to influence processes that are conducive to effective and efficient
management of facilities and equipment within the project management
environment. However, if there are no existing business-area processes
that address facilities and equipment management to support project
efforts, then the PMO can play a lead business role in accomplishing this
PMO function.
Presuming that there are current business functions within the relevant organization that address facilities and equipment, the PMO’s primary responsibility will be to monitor the support provided to projects.
To that end, the PMO can collaborate with in-house facilities and
equipment support providers to help them achieve a better understanding of how their support activities impact project management requirements. Subtleties taken for granted in the pr oject management
environment are not always evident to nonpractitioners, and current
support processes may not necessarily be conducive to effective project
management. For example, the classification and priority of a new project
may influence equipment assignment, rather than an earlier-dated requisition request. Likewise, facilities that are available and can house two
or three project teams may not be appropriate for such use if one of
the project teams has contractual obligations for separate facilities to
avoid a conflict of business interest. The PMO can monitor these conditions and help current support providers understand the concepts and
considerations of project management.

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Facilities and Equipment Support Activities across the
PMO Continuum
The “facilities and equipment support” function along the PMO competency continuum provides increasing involvement in facilities and equipment management, as is applicable to pr ojects within the relevant
Table 8.1 presents an overview of the range of prescribed PMO facilities
and equipment support activities according to each level in the PMO
competency continuum.
The project office is responsible for requesting and managing the
facilities and equipment needed to accomplish each project effort. This
responsibility inherently falls within the purview of the project manager,
who must identify and submit requirements for facilities and equipment
support to the PMO or other supporting business unit.
Mid-range PMO levels help project managers identify and achieve
facilities and equipment support requirements on individual projects. The
mid-range PMO also will manage an effort to optimize the use and
assignment — and potential reuse and reassignment — of project facilities
and equipment across multiple project efforts as a means to make facility
and equipment acquisitions and deployment more cost effective for the
relevant organization.
The center of excellence will continue its focus on business performance by conducting strategic-level analyses of the facilities and equipment support activities as a means of improving its effectiveness within
the project management environment.
This PMO function implements the capability to provide effective
facilities and equipment support within the project management environment. This includes establishing processes for the PMO and project managers alike to apply to the support effort. To that end, facets of that
process can be prescribed and incorporated into the project management
methodology, as presented in the PMO “project management methodology” function (see Chapter 1).

Facilities and Equipment Support Function Model
The PMO’s primary role can be either that of facilitator or that of manager
of facilities and equipment support within the project management environment. If business units within the relevant organization already conduct
such support, the PMO should facilitate alignment and integration of
business and project management processes. If such support is not readily
present or fully supportive of interests in the project management envi-

Center of Excellence

Conducts analysis of
project facilities and
equipment needs
and use:
– Conducts project
facility optimized
use and cost
– Performs project
optimized use and
cost analyses

Advanced PMO

Expands support
capability to include
facility acquisition:
– Forecasts facility
– Evaluates facility
acquisition and
use options
– Establishes facility

Standard PMO

Conducts project team
facilities and
equipment support:
– Identifies facility
and equipment
– Monitors facility
and equipment
assignments and
– Manages facility
and equipment

Basic PMO

Ensures reasonable
facilities and basic
equipment are
available to the
project team:
– Monitors project
team facility and
equipment needs
– Recommends
project team office
space and

Project Office

Identifies and uses
facilities and
equipment needed to
accomplish the
project effort

Table 8.1 Range of Facilities and Equipment Support Activities across the PMO Continuum

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Establish Work Space

Manage Facility
Acquisition Options

Manage Equipment

Establish Equipment

Monitor Facility

Monitor Equipment

Monitor Facility

Manage Equipment

Figure 8.1 “Facilities and equipment support” function model.

ronment, the PMO can be more proactive in implementing facilities and
equipment-support solutions, but always consistent with established practices and coordinated with appropriate existing business-support functions.
This PMO function is generally applied within organizations that have
large project team populations. It centralizes the management of facilities
and equipment across multiple project efforts, thereby alleviating some of
the management burden of individual project managers. The project manager is still responsible for identifying facilities and equipment requirements
but with this PMO function, the manager can submit a request for fulfillment
to the PMO. In turn, the project manager resumes responsibility for managing assigned use of project facilities and equipment. At a minimum, the
PMO can perform oversight and provide facilities and equipment support,
as needed, even for organizations with smaller project team populations.
Figure 8.1 depicts the prominent activities of the PMO’s “facilities and
equipment support” function model, and the following subsections
describe each activity.

Establish Project Team Requirements
The PMO serves in a capacity to (1) examine and validate project team
workspace requirements in conjunction with project managers’ input and
requests, (2) manage fulfillment of requirements either through direct
action or by passing the requirements to the appropriate business unit
within the relevant organization, and (3) monitor fulfillment actions. As
well, the PMO can represent project management environment workspace
needs to facility managers and to senior management. This activity enables
the PMO to ensure that project team performance is supported by adequate
workspace and equipment needed by individuals responsible for project
management and task performance.

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The PMO may have to apply special consideration and adjust the
prescribed approach if workspace setup support is provided to geographically separated work teams or those operating in a virtual team environment.

Establish Workspace Requirements
The PMO should evaluate existing working conditions to deter mine
whether the workspace for the project team members is sufficient for
current and near-term project team requirements. In general, this is an
evaluation that can be formally or informally conducted by the PMO on
a recurring, perhaps annual, basis. It provides the PMO with sufficient
insight into workplace conditions to enable meaningful deliberation and
discussions in support of the workspace requirements to be pursued.
The PMO can then proceed to develop a set of recommended workspace features that are desired within the project management environment. Things to consider include:
Ⅲ Preferred individual workspace dimensions (area): the size of various workspaces needed, consistent with organizational standards,
roles and responsibilities of project team members, and the nature
of project work.
Ⅲ Preferred workspace enclosures: requirements for office space for
different purposes, including offices for managers or others requiring levels of privacy due to the nature of their work; enclosed
rooms for meetings, storage, or library; offices, cubicles, or open
workspace for project team members; laboratory rooms or enclosures; and workspace for visiting project participants. Additionally,
this workspace feature considers break rooms, needs for special
ventilation or other types of climate control, utility (e.g., electricity,
water, etc.) requirements, the need to accommodate access for
handicapped participants, and the necessity to fit any (furnituresize) project equipment.
Ⅲ Furniture and furnishings: presents the need for desks, workbenches, workstations, chairs, tables, bookcases, lamps, etc., again
consistent with organizational standards, the roles and responsibilities of project team members, and the nature of the project work.
Ⅲ Workspace access requirements: identifies the need to control
access to the project team work area or facility. This also includes
a description of any information, security, or work-safety-based
protective requirements for individuals, equipment, and materials
associated with project work efforts. This feature specifies access
requirements and provides the preferred (or required) means of
access control.

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The PMO can compile and recommend the acquisition and assignment of project team facilities that have the preferred workspace features,
or it can validate that current facilities are adequate to support the
projects involved.
The PMO should monitor facilities utilization and configuration during
and between recurring workspace examinations. The following are several
facility utilization factors for the PMO to consider as it provides ongoing
management of facilities and equipment support:


team number and average size
team member population
manager population
manager alignment with number of project teams
team (and team member) locations

This effort will produce results that vary significantly by organization
and by industry. In some cases, a handful of project managers will be
aligned with a few project team members, and generally all are collocated
in one facility. In other cases this may expand to configurations of many
project managers, hundreds of project team members, and multiple project
team locations. The simpler configuration will likely require the PMO to
be more attentive to details of the support provided. The latter configurations provide more opportunity for the PMO to play a larger role in
managing facilities and optimizing their use across the larger number of
project teams.
The PMO should prepare a fundamental recommendation document
for workspace requirements by project team or a general recommendation
by individual. The more advanced PMO can incorporate this document
into a broader organizational facilities plan for how project team facility
requirements will be implemented across the relevant organization.

Establish Equipment Requirements
The PMO should develop fundamental guidance and recommendations
for the equipment needed by individual project managers and project
team members, per the technical and professional nature of the types of
project work they perform. This might be identified as a standard equipment package. Then, the PMO also should identify equipment shared by
all members of the project team — usually within a business office
environment. Finally, the PMO should identify any special equipment
needed by one or more project teams to accomplish project work.
An overview examination and checklist for these three types of equipment requirements are presented below. Each PMO must consider the

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history of project team equipment provisioning and current needs as it
prepares its requirements and recommendations for each equipment group
within the project management environment. As well, it is not presumed
that such equipment support is not currently provided by another business
unit. For example, the IT department will usually support individual and
group office equipment, and other business units can support specialized
equipment. However, now the PMO uses the information it compiles to
improve and optimize equipment assignment and utilization support across
project teams.

Individual Equipment Requirements
The PMO can consider items in the following list in creating a standard
equipment package for the project team. Note that some project teams
and team members are generally office based, while others may be field
based. The PMO’s recommendations should take into account the different
equipment needs relative to these project venues.
Computer. Today’s project management environment inherently
requires consideration of individual computer equipment, which includes:

Desktop computer
Laptop computer
Personal digital assistant (PDA)
Computer docking station or cradle (for laptops and PDAs)

Consideration of this equipment includes any necessary peripheral equipment such as monitor, keyboard, modem, network card, CD-ROM and
diskette readers, etc. Assignment of this equipment also implies connectivity to a network within the relevant organization for purposes of internal
and external communications and access to the Internet.
Software. This is a standard set of software that can be prescribed for
users on the project team, including the following items:
Ⅲ Business suite applications (e.g., word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation manager, etc.)
Ⅲ Communications applications (e.g., e-mail, Web browser, contact
manager, collaboration tools, etc.)
Ⅲ Project management applications (e.g., cost-schedule-resource
manager, task manager, project information dashboard, methodology process manager, etc.)
Ⅲ Document reader applications (e.g., text-file reader, drawing or
CAD-file reader, etc.)

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Although not particularly an equipment item, the PMO may want to
consider access (and any associated cost) to technical and business Internet
locations in association with use of any Web-based applications, including
membership or subscription requirements. In general, access to the Internet and to the home office network is a feature to consider.
Individual office equipment. This is a general set of equipment that
facilitates individual project work performance and business communications that can be considered, including the following:

Desktop telephone
Mobile telephone (cell phone)
Mobile pager
Two-way radio
Voice-mail recorder or mailbox
Desk, chair, and associated office furnishings
Individual work document and media storage containers (file

The specification and assignment of individual office equipment, to a large
extent, will be influenced by the culture and practices of the relevant
organization. The PMO should carefully examine its recommendations for
any equipment that exceeds those norms.
Individual special equipment. This is a set of equipment determined
by the nature of business and project requirements that is considered for
assignment to individuals because of personal or professional need or
frequency of use, including the following:

Personal health and safety devices
Measurement devices
Writing and marking instruments
Calculators and special computing devices
Equipment and document travel cases
Special work apparel or clothing

The PMO will need to examine special equipment utilization to determine
whether assignment to individuals is warranted.

Project Team Office Equipment Requirements
The PMO can consider items in the following list when creating equipment
recommendations for a standard project office, that is, for a collocated
project team. The items below generally represent office equipment types

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that can be shared by all project team members. However, in some cases,
they also may be issued as individual equipment:

Document printer (computer peripheral)
Electronic plotter (computer peripheral)
Power-surge protectors
Facsimile machine
Reproduction or copy machine
Document scanner
Workbench or laboratory table
Technical manuals (issued as equipment in some environments)
Team work document and media storage containers (file cabinets)
Meeting room table, chairs, and associated furnishings
Drawing and writing boards
Audiovisual equipment
First-aid and emergency kits and equipment
Trash receptacles, including document-destruction equipment

This listing provides a preliminary consideration for items that create
a basic “project office” equipment configuration. The PMO should collaborate with project managers to determine if there are any other team office
equipment requirements unique to current or planned projects.

Special Equipment Requirements
The PMO can consider the generic items in the following list as a guide
for preparing its recommendations for special equipment that is normally
shared across project teams. It should examine the nature of project work
and collaborate with relevant project managers to finalize these requirements. Additionally, these items generally represent “nonoffice” equipment
that is assigned for project team use on an as-needed basis and subsequently returned to centralized control for scheduled use by another
project team:
Ⅲ Personnel transportation vehicles
Ⅲ Heavy equipment (e.g., construction equipment and vehicles, large
hardware and product installation equipment, etc.)
Ⅲ Unique (and sometimes very expensive) calibration and measurement devices
Ⅲ Special-purpose tools and toolkits
Ⅲ Additional and spare computing equipment and peripherals
Ⅲ Mobile operations equipment
Ⅲ Field operations equipment

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Again, the PMO should collaborate with project managers and technical
team leaders to establish a specific special equipment requirements list
for the relevant organization.

Manage Project Facilities
The PMO begins this effort by identifying facility needs and requirements
across the various projects. The PMO can then concentrate on developing
the processes for their acquisition, utilization (assignment), and disposition.
This necessitates having a fairly comprehensive understanding of project
team strength, project team locations, and project durations for all current
and upcoming projects across the relevant organization.
The PMO can then proceed to review current facility utilization to
determine whether it is sufficient for project team needs or whether it
can be optimized for multiple project team use. As well, the PMO should
identify pending projects with known or anticipated start dates as a means
to plan upcoming facility needs.
Presumably, there will be an existing facilities management function
within the relevant organization. If so, the PMO plays a role to ensure
that the needs of the project management environment are met through
coordination of the project facility requirements with the planned facility
assignment actions of the facility manager. Conversely, the relevant organization may not have a facilities management function that specifically
addresses project team requirements. In this case, the PMO should become
a more visible influence on facility oversight within the project management environment. PMO involvement is likewise appropriate in situations
when project facility management is associated with distinct customer
engagements, where facility costs are associated with one or more project
efforts, or where customer-provided facilities require a measure of project
manager oversight.
The depth of facility management conducted by the PMO can be
adjusted to fit the needs of the relevant organization. However, it is
essential to note that the activities prescribed below are not intended to
replace any organizational facilities management function or to make the
PMO an expert in facilities management. Rather, this guidance is provided
so that the PMO can assist or guide the pr oject manager — while
collaborating with the in-house facilities management experts — in conducting project facilities management with regard to the interests of the
project management environment.
The following subsections prescribe three fundamental areas of project
facility management that the PMO can consider when establishing project
facilities support processes within the relevant organization.