What is a Corporate Planning Office?

PlanningForce / Mar 17 , 2017

The Corporate Planning Office (CPO) is the body in charge of steering activities and resources throughout the value chain. It ensures the best possible link between the strategic level and the operational level, by ensuring that resources are aligned with needs.

The CPO stakeholders are:

⮚ The head of the CPO (CPOM)
⮚ Project and Program Managers (PM)
⮚ Resource and Department Managers (RM)

The Main functions of the CPO are the following:

❖ Define the operating rules of the planning model such as granularity, user roles, skills matrix, calendars, and activity models.
❖ Orchestrate the PDCA cycles sequence
❖ Arbitrate the conflicting expectations of the various CPO stakeholders and publish a schedule that is the result of the consensus reached between these various stakeholders.

It is necessary to have an experienced CPO manager (CPOM) who has in-depth knowledge regarding the project processes and the business lines involved as well as the organization’s challenges. This CPOM must have sufficient delegated authority to perform his/her role effectively in relation to his/her PM and RM colleagues. A real process of exchange and consultation must take root between the CPO manager and the PMs and RMs.

In large organizations, the CPOM must be able to stay “above the fray”. It is therefore not advisable for them to be a PM or a RM, as the latter could be taken to task by other stakeholders and complicate their role as arbitrator.

It is therefore inadvisable for him/her to leak the work of his CPO colleagues either by seeking information at his/her source or by giving planning instructions directly to Resource or Team Leaders, as this would disempower MPs and RMs and erode his/her authority in the event of a problem.

Based on the principle that the CPOM is the delegate of the management, it must be able to:

⮚ Translate management objectives into the system
⮚ Regularly and reliably report information that enables management to measure the effectiveness of decisions taken at the operational level

Management must therefore have a reliable data cockpit that is regularly updated. Management must also be able to develop working hypotheses that the CPO tests in PlanningForce and comments on, or ranks according to various criteria, in order to assist its decision making.

To do this, PlanningForce provides a business intelligence tool that produces the expected reports and dashboards.


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