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Cardiff University: Establishing a Multi-Disciplinary PMO

Updated: Jun 28, 2018


Prior to bringing in Program Framework to support their migration to Microsoft Project Online the IT environment within Cardiff University had no single adopted tool set for managing projects. Project managers would work in Excel or in Word, on desktops and laptops, and there were no standard processes or controls in relation to project management tools.

Following an organisation restructure the PMO was being called upon to provide the central control point for all kinds of projects University-wide. They needed a way of standardising their project approach and uniting all change programmes under the same governance framework.

Our Microsoft PPM Solution:

This case studies describes in the customer's own words how a Project Online platform can be instrumental in achieving something quite challenging: Getting multiple departments within the organisation to agree on a common process for project delivery, and implement this process with the help of a single shared PPM solution.

Project Status Report

Cardiff Uni have managed this, by focussing on a key PPM feature: the project status report. By designing a single report layout that would work for all portfolios, it has driven a common data set (to populate the report in terms of RAG status, progress narrative, milestones, risks, issues etc.) and helped to devise a shared process in terms of reporting frequency and governance.

This was delivered through Program Framework's status report add-in seamlessly embedded in project sites.


Over 300 projects across four main portfolio areas are now being governed via Microsoft Project Online. The PMO has a standardised approach to governance and complete visibility of project costs, risks and issues at the click of a link. There is now a standardised set of operational processes, with project information being held in a central repository.

"The benefits have been both qualitative and quantitative. Having a standard set of project stages within the project lifecycle makes communication and transition between projects so much smoother. There has also been a big saving in the time taken for project reporting, and in the effort to consolidate the information."

Elaine Randall, Head of PMO, Cardiff University


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