Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:39

PM-Partners Helps Media Monitors Drive Change to Stay Ahead of Evolving Media, Online and Social Media Landscape

By David Sanday

Project Consulting and Education Add Momentum To Strategic Business Projects

Sydney, Australia -- February 18, 2010 -- Leading Australian project services firm,
PM-Partners group, today announced that it has provided services including project consulting, delivery and education to Media Monitors, Asia Pacific's leading media intelligence company, making the ability to manage change a key driver of the company's growth.

In the last two years Media Monitors has expanded the range and flexibility of its products and become a significant regional player in the media collection and analysis industry at a time of unprecedented reconfiguration of the media landscape.

Media Monitors Chief Executive Officer, John Croll said the company had a record of changing rapidly but with the advent of online and social media it needed project management support from PM-Partners to stay ahead of rapid developments to ensure the company's relevancy and improve its market position.

Opening new operations and making acquisitions offshore added another layer of complexity to managing the business. With employee numbers almost doubling to 780 and expansion into media monitoring in Chinese and Bahasa, the company needed an external partner to help it manage and monitor increasingly complex projects.

"We knew the change wasn't going to stop so we needed to have project management skills ingrained into the business," said Mr Croll.

In the last six months, PM-Partners has provided services to Media Monitors including: organisational capability development; project governance, consulting and delivery; and project management education, training and certification. It also provided electronic project management solutions and online tools to support the new business processes.

"PM-Partners has done a really good job," said Mr Croll. "We have much better control of these complex projects now. It is a key part of bringing agility into the organisation.

"We now have databases that are multi-regional and multi-lingual and we have online and social media," Mr Croll explained. "The challenge is how to get our products rapidly into the market. PM-Partners helped improve the agility of the business to, for example, deliver to customer groups based on industry rather geographical lines."

One example of how social media has radically changed Media Monitors' business processes is the growing use of Twitter to broadcast updates around developing issues in real time. Media Monitors now provides clients with up-to-date intelligence about Twitter, with the shelf life of information counted in hours or minutes instead of days.

Another complex project was the integration of the New Zealand-based Chong Newztel Media-watch business, whose assets were acquired in March this year. The leader of that integration project received extensive training from PM-Partners and now heads up Media Monitors' new Project Management Office.

PM-Partners helped Media Monitors develop a strategic methodology that placed a premium on throughput. Strategy maps were designed to ensure that the methodologies used were transparent and that "actions are linked to the rhetoric", said Mr Croll.

PM-Partners also introduced governance reviews across the organisation on a monthly basis to ensure that the implementation of projects was transparent and accountable. This transparency extends to return on investment, which is monitored using business realisation reports which ensure communication from the board level down.

The selection of projects is now made more strategically with the setting up of a Strategic Review Board. This ensures that projects are consistent with the overarching strategy, make the best use of available resources and are implemented on time and on budget.

"It's all about throughput," said Mr Croll. "That is our new mantra. Our people can now see the throughput and they are getting on board."

Media Monitors' experience provides a good example to other businesses, particularly those expanding into new markets or dealing with rapidly changing external environments, said Nik Samuelson, Director at PM-Partners group.

"We are seeing a new level of organisational maturity in fast growing businesses," said Samuelson. "These dynamic organisations need projects to be successful because margins are tight and business is tougher. Smart ones like Media Monitors realise that better executing on strategy gives them a competitive edge and enables successful and rapid growth.

"We proposed a solution to help Media Monitors embed project management capabilities within their organisation whilst executing strategic projects," said Mr Samuelson. "The delivery kept the ball rolling with strategic initiatives while we helped them set up a Project Management Office with methodologies, processes and tools. That leaves them a legacy of being able to deliver complex projects by themselves."

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