In early November, a new research paper was published; The Future of Project Management: Global Outlook 2019.

A collaboration between the Australian Institute of Project Management, KPMG and the International Project Management Association, the paper covers project management as a discipline, tooling, the future and the PMO.

Some excerpts from the report include that while the use of PMOs is widespread across industries, 40% of organisations have a centralised PMO, with 65% utilising one or more divisional, program, or project level PMOs. Of these PMOs 28% are perceived as able to effectively support and effect change.

The main reason why PMOs exist within the respondents is to enable better governance, prioritisation, maturity growth and consistency.

Having said that, there is a 30% of respondents who have disestablished a PMO in the last two years; when asked why; failure to gain alignment, and the low perception of value.

The future of PMOs, is cited as including the need to be involved in effective prioritisation, better and more proactive engagement with Senior Customers, and adjusting current practice to adapt to the changing needs of projects, namely Agile and other approaches.

The challenges cited in this report, are unfortunately not new news for PMO, yet they remain, alongside project success rates, elusive beasts.

During Wellingtone’s APM Accredited PMO Practitioner course we discuss some of the tactics that PMOs can use to bring additional focus to these areas, which are summarised below:

Prioritisation:

Defining prioritisation metrics take time and effort, and not something that should be done in isolation by the PMO. A prioritisation matrix needs should address perspectives such as Strategic Fit, Economic Impact, and Feasibility.

Answering questions such as how aligned to organisational goals a project is, whether it provides competitive advantage, whether the resources are available, and how the anticipated benefits have been validated are typical areas for assessment.

Engagement:

PMOs are integrators (one of our PMO principles) and building relationships is a fundamental part of developing strong internal networks.

To engage Customers at all levels, it is important to identify their interest, how to improve their world with PMO services, and communicate with them in the right way.

Enough communication to the relevant PMO Customers to perform their specific role.

Adaptability:

The VUCA world that we live in demands that PMOs adapt to the needs of the organisation.

PMO people should be aware of the basics of each method utilised by the delivery teams, enabling the identification of common goals and alignment across both methodologies and ways of working, thus supporting PMO teams to adapt quickly to new developments.

Lastly, one of the key areas that PMOs suffer is the need to prove the value that they add to organisations.

The answer is in the development and implementation of PMO metrics that look further than delivery performance and focus inwardly to the performance of the PMO itself.

An approach such as a Balanced Scorecard enables the PMO to communicate progress to the short, medium, and long-term roadmap as well as how it supports delivery teams to bring lasting beneficial change to the organisation.

To find out more about the PMO Practitioner course that provides insights, tactics, and a toolkit to bring new levels of maturity to each of these areas, contact us.