Saturday, February 8, 2014

PMO Effectiveness

  PMO is all about adding value to the project/program.

The PMO –Project/Program Management Office can act as the group that guides the higher-level management effort. The reality is that PMOs can be very different from one organization to another. The roles, functions, authority and their reason of being PMO can differ greatly, but what are some common principles to run an effective PMO?

PMO is all about adding value to the project/program. It is helping the project being successful with all means possible. PMO helps establish KPIs/benefits for each project so each project can be measured on its own merit. The PMO is responsible for ensuring pre-project metrics are established and the post-project measurements are taken to compare against those established metrics  In an ideal world all PMOs should revolve around the core values, or core roles and functions in the business. 

PMO is with Project Management Life Cycle. There are TPLS - Technical Process Life Cycle - which is different for different types of projects and MPLC - Management Possess Life Cycle which can be similar for different projects. PMO is with the Project Management Life Cycle, the Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and closing processes are repeated in every phase of the project life cycle if using methodology or PM Standard, to repeat this process for different projects. Technical Life Cycle depends on the nature of the project and is different for different types of project.

The added value of PMO is about the process 'reporting' and 'decision making'. PMO should report on the progress and use the 'corporate values' to bring 'objective' weighing in comparing the running projects with each other. It should be that senior management taking a decision on this combination to either continue or stop running projects or start new ones. And it is PMO again to execute this decision: this is the essence to 'lock in senior management support'; it is their accountability to take decisions. It is the task of PMO to enable this with proper information!

PMO should deliver added value as to deliverables, outcomes, budgets or resources, and surely there are quick wins like measurement. Sometimes the goals of PMO is not only the strategy alignment and value leverage; it's also a mix of short, mid and long term projects that need to make up a project pipeline. If one focuses on short term value too much, this might not support long term strategy and vision in the end. If one puts too much focus on long-term value, there may be a loss of momentum and engagement. Depending on the maturity of the organization and the pain points, PMO proactively provides deliverables regardless all methodologies, measurements, KPI or the like. Of course you need strong support from your stakeholders/organization to make it happen.

PMO can recommend a community of practices, where you give people the opportunity to get involved in the development of PMO and its outputs, this helps make them feel accountable to you and their peers because they are part of a wider network of people all trying to achieve the same thing and improve the project success rate.

There are many different types of PMOs, each with a different purpose and function. The key to any success is to understand what problem the company was trying to solve but implementing a PMO in the first place. PMOs work in multiple ways such as:
1). Facilitating Corporate Project Governance; Benefit Realization, etc.
2). Supporting Delivery; Mentoring, Facilitation, Coaching, Training, Uplifting Capability
3). Assuring Delivery; Reviews, Project Portfolio Health-checks
4). Owning Project Control Framework; Methodology, Processes, Tools, Best Practice,
5). Project Oversight;Visibility, Dashboard, Status, etc.
6). Portfolio Management; Pipeline Management, Resource Capacity/Demand, etc.

In the end, communication is pivotal and to ensure that a PMO is effective in delivering value - understanding who the PMO customers are and their requirements are key to having a truly successful PMO.


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