Building a unified portfolio management office across five countries   

Building a unified portfolio management office across five countries   

Momentum Metropolitan Africa, has successfully implemented Project Portfolio Office’s project and portfolio management solution, using an agile approach across five African countries, including Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho and Mozambique, and the South African base office.

Victor Chidongo, Head of Portfolio Management Office, Momentum Metropolitan Africa
Victor Chidongo, Head of Portfolio Management Office, Momentum Metropolitan Africa

Momentum Metropolitan Africa is a subsidiary of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited. Its footprint on the African continent spans five countries, with a strong heritage, operating for over 51 years. Momentum Metropolitan Africa’s core operations are in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Ghana and Mozambique, with the central team operating in South Africa. In addition, Momentum Metropolitan employs 2,445 people across the African market.

The purpose is to enable businesses and people from all occupations to achieve their financial goals and life aspirations. The business operations of Momentum Metropolitan Africa are diverse and encompass various segments within the financial services industry, including life insurance, health insurance and health insurance administration, retirement planning, short term insurance, asset management, wealth and collective investments. 

Across all the countries, Momentum Metropolitan Africa focuses on delivering innovative and customer-centric financial solutions, leveraging its expertise in risk management, asset allocation, and wealth preservation. As a business, there is an emphasis on a strong commitment to engage in ethical business practices, regulatory compliance, and responsible corporate citizenship in all its operations across all our markets. 

Momentum Metropolitan Africa employs a localised approach in each country to adapt its offerings and operations to the unique cultural, economic, and regulatory landscapes of each market. This involves tailoring product offerings, distribution channels, and marketing strategies to meet the specific needs and preferences of customers in each country while maintaining the overarching brand identity and standards of the group.

Recently, Momentum Metropolitan Africa, has successfully implemented Project Portfolio Office’s project and portfolio management, PPM solution, across five African countries, including Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho and Mozambique, and the South African base office.

Importantly, the rollout was completed using Project Portfolio Office’s agile approach. This approach was critical for its smooth completion. A big bang approach tends to see people get lost in the details, without sight of the bigger picture they are working towards.

Momentum Metropolitan Africa’s Portfolio Management Office, PMO, wanted to be able to properly bed down each phase of the journey before moving on, ensuring team members were happy and comfortable after each iteration, realizing they were building the foundations of what was going to be a castle at the end.

Legacy pain points

When Victor Chidongo, joined Momentum Metropolitan Africa at the end of 2022, as Head of its Portfolio Management Office PMO, it was apparent that the organisation had insufficient visibility around the project management environment across the various countries. 

From a delivery and methodology aspect, there were too many different approaches and templates in place. The ripple effect was that the organisation was making project decisions based on outdated information.

These included:

  • Lack of real-time visibility into project status and resource utilisation causing delays
  • Poor communication and collaboration among teams leading to misunderstandings and duplicated efforts
  • Resource management issues resulted in overallocation, underutilisation, and conflicts
  • Lack of structured prioritisation, leading to conflicting priorities and inefficient resource allocation.
  • Manual project planning processes causing errors and delays
  • Inadequate risk management processes led to disruptions and cost overruns
  • Limited scalability of existing tools and processes hindered ability to manage a growing number of projects and diverse portfolios
  • Challenges with customer satisfaction, stakeholder management, compliance, and data silos further impacting reputation

Selection of the solution

Chidongo had previously assisted with an investigation around several PPM tools available within the marketplace, which had concluded that Project Portfolio Office was a superior option. Further, Project Portfolio Office’s experience in rolling out implementations across multiple countries added to the decision.

However, instead of a face-to-face implementation, where discussions can be held, Momentum Metropolitan Africa chose to complete the rollout remotely. And it chose the agile rollout to ensure that each cycle was properly bedded down and appropriately adopted. This was essential due to the differing levels of maturity across each of the countries involved.

Project Portfolio Office also emerged as the preferred choice, as it met requirements with its built-in APIs facilitating seamless integration with current systems.

Guy Jelley, Co-Founder and CEO, Project Portfolio Office
Guy Jelley, Co-Founder and CEO, Project Portfolio Office

Solution snapshot

Project Portfolio Office, PPO exists to enable organisations to achieve greater project success by implementing and adopting a simple to use, cost effective, configurable yet enterprise scalable project portfolio management application to plan, manage, collaborate, execute and report on their projects, programmes and portfolios.

With numerous offices in London and South Africa and global network of partners, the users range from consultancies to global Fortune 500 organisations managing everything from consulting, IT, strategic, marketing, new product launches and innovation, NPD, construction, large mining and engineering projects and programmes.

The PPO project and portfolio management tool has been designed from the ground up to be a highly scalable, web-based, Software-as-a-Service, SaaS application. With extensive policies, procedures, and automated systems in place, the application remains available to users. The underlying architecture ensures that the system scales exceptionally well, whether you have five or 1,000 users. 

Our pre-configured solutions for the traditional project management office, Agile Software Development or somewhere in between gets you working out of the box and is easily customisable to align your organisation’s way of work and delivers functionality for every aspect of project portfolio management. 

Whether you are a large established enterprise or a vibrant new start-up, the scalable pricing options are designed to help business succeed. The terms for PPO usage include monthly subscription model, no long term contracts, no complex role-based pricing, free support, free product upgrades, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited document storage, unlimited projects.

Implementation process

Project Portfolio Office offers a tried and assessed agile implementation approach that starts with the identification of the project portfolio management capabilities, that the client wants to introduce. These capabilities are then broken down into sprints or cycles of typically two weeks in duration.

Each cycle has a defined set of activities which include Requirements Definition and Planning, Administrator Set-up and Training, Demo, Testing and Awareness, User Training, User Q&A and Adoption Metrics Review.

Project Portfolio Office’s approach is to become a long-term partner for clients to ensure they continuously derive incremental value from the tool which, by its very nature, will transform in accordance with the development of the client’s organisational maturity.

Post implementation benefits

After implementing Project Portfolio Office, Momentum Metropolitan Africa experienced numerous business and operational benefits.

These included:

  • Overcoming data silos
  • Improved visibility into project status
  • Enhanced collaboration among teams leading to efficiency
  • Effective resource management reducing conflicts
  • Strategic prioritisation aligned with business goals
  • Streamlined project planning and execution
  • Enhanced risk management to mitigate disruptions
  • Better compliance with internal policies
  • Increased customer satisfaction through efficient project delivery
  • Strengthened stakeholder relationships
  • Better data management and reporting
  • Providing accurate project insights for informed decision-making

Project Portfolio Office’s ability to report in multi-currency at any given time has been a major success story for the PMO. This contributes to the positive turnaround in its perception within the organisation, from being a cost centre to now being considered as a partner that is there to help the business succeed.

Confidence through documentation is another benefit. The documentation being created has instilled real confidence in PMO team members, and it is no longer seen as a tick box exercise. This clearer understanding leads to smoother sign-offs, especially in terms of governance-related matters.

And instead of lengthy, potentially chaotic email chains, team members are now able to have more organised, efficient, collaborative conversations within Project Portfolio Office itself.

Momentum Metropolitan Africa’s PMO does not operate in a vacuum, it functions with people who are sitting across various business lines that have been seconded to the PMO for certain work. This means that it is important to understand how much of their time is being spent on projects and easily account for this.

Moving forward, Chidongo adds that he intends to put a monetary value to every effort put into the PMO in order to quantify what is being generated, not just from a monetary perspective, but also the value being created.

“Our entire experience with Project Portfolio Office has been exceptional. The Project Portfolio Office team has forged a strong partnership with Momentum Metropolitan Africa, treating us as much more than a customer,” reflects Chidongo.

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