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PMO Series Part, II: We’re Up and Running…Now What?

By: SEI Team

So your organization has established a PMO – Congratulations!  Hopefully you have some wins that are visible to the organization whether you have been able to provide project standards, greater visibility to projects or optimizing the use of resources. Now it may be time to assess where you are in achieving the PMO’s vision.

Looking at your current achievements against where the PMO aspires to be will help you develop a gap analysis of things to improve or execute next. You can begin with a lessons learned on those functions that have been implemented. What has gone well/is liked since inception by the stakeholders?  Do any of the processes seem forced and have been slow to adopt?  Let’s walk through a few questions to ask:

  • Does the organization see your PMO as adding value to your projects with sustainable processes or as a bottleneck to getting projects done?  If the answer is “not a lot of value” or “is a bottleneck”, you should reevaluate what has been implemented.  Keeping it simple is a great way to start and will enable long term adoption.   The PMO that consistently provides value and benefits to the organization is the one that builds credibility and remains a vital component for the long run.
  • Do executives utilize the PMO to make better decisions? The PMO should enable key decision makers with an avenue to review and prioritize the project portfolio and resources when business needs change.
  • Are the project methodologies the right level of rigor for the organization?  The methods the organization uses should support what must be documented and no more.  While some organizations have regulatory, legal, and other compliance considerations, others can adopt more simple methods.
  • Do changes have the buy-in of the organization?  While changing the way people do their jobs is never easy, implementing new processes/templates/technologies typically takes time. Having a way for the key PMO stakeholders to ask questions and provide input/suggestions and then acting on those that make sense will go a long way to show the PMO’s willingness to listen and adapt.
  • Are resources better utilized? Resources and cost can be assigned to projects based on the business priorities set in the portfolio management review.

PMO communications should reach all audiences of the organizations it impacts.  The implementation of your PMO was just the beginning of an ongoing communication strategy that should keep stakeholders informed and asking for more.  Make sure to continue adapting and executing your PMO communication plan.

A PMO is a living, breathing entity that can be continuously improved. Long-standing PMO’s have processes that adjust with the needs of the organization and PMO resources who understand when they need to have that flexibility.