In today’s fast-paced business environment, achieving strategic goals efficiently is more critical than ever. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have emerged as a powerful framework to drive this efficiency. However, the successful implementation and management of OKRs require not only a solid framework (in our previous article you can find some tips to create effective and powerful OKRs but also experienced leadership and change management.

Apart from the fundamental sponsorship and support of senior leadership (ideally the CEO), a successful OKR implementation and practice will require coordination of activities for the right cycle cadence, facilitating the initiation, checking and closing processes. One question that typically arises during the initial stages of implementation is: “Where is the best place in the organisation to host the OKRs?”

This article explores how the Project Management Office (PMO) is an ideal partner to lead the practice of OKRs within an organization, and the multiple benefits it can bring to the table.

Why the PMO is an Ideal Partner to Lead the OKR Practice

At Wellingtone, we see the PMO as the commercial partner adapted to the organisation’s objectives, enabling organisational change by providing services and support to the change community.

The role of the PMO has evolved over the last few decades, shifting from a traditional focus on delivering projects within the iron triangle constraints to adopting a more agile and facilitation-oriented approach. Today’s PMO has expanded its scope to nurture communities of practice, facilitate change and adoption, emphasise leading indicators over past trend analysis, and actively seek opportunities for continuous improvement and organisational excellence. This approach is perfectly aligned with the OKR mindset.

In this context, we find that the PMO is better prepared than ever to support the OKR practice due to the following main leverage points:

  • Acting as Centre of Excellence and Knowledge:

The PMO operates as a centre of excellence, equipped with extensive experience in project and process management, positioning it ideally to lead the charge in implementing OKRs.

  • Understanding of Processes and Discipline:

With an intricate understanding of organisational processes, the PMO plays a pivotal role in setting and supporting all the tracking and checking processes within the OKR cycle.

  • Coaching the Community of Practice:

PMO provides guidance and training to enhance teams’ comprehension of effective OKR creation and management.

  • Maintaining a Horizontal Approach:

Operating horizontally across the organisation, the PMO offers a panoramic view essential for aligning OKRs throughout the organisation through cascading and laddering, ultimately achieving alignment.

Benefits for the PMO in Leading the OKR Practice

According the Wellingtone State of Project Management Report, we found that many PMOs struggle to communicate their value. By hosting and facilitating the OKR practice, the PMO can increase the value delivered to the organisation, addressing one of the most common pain points.

Leading the OKR practice adds the following to the PMO:

  • Strategic Value:

Taking the lead in OKRs, the PMO contributes substantial strategic value to the organisation by concentrating on its most critical and strategic objectives.

  • Visibility:

The PMO’s visibility is elevated through effective OKR leadership. It can demonstrate its contribution to organisational objectives and their impact on outcomes.

  • Results:

Through OKRs, the PMO can achieve quantifiable, tangible outcomes in the organisation, reinforcing its position as a high-value partner.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the PMO’s pivotal role in overseeing the implementation of OKRs is undeniable. It is well-equipped to lead the change, guide the process, and support groups and individuals across the organisation. By doing so, it enhances its strategic relevance, increases visibility, and contributes to measurable results. As organisations adapt to changing landscapes, PMOs leading OKR practices are better positioned to boost their organisations toward success.

As a final consideration, it’s essential to emphasise that OKRs should be regarded as a collaborative venture within the organisation. The true power of OKRs lies in their ability to unify teams and departments toward a common goal. No single department or function should impose its perspective or drive the process unilaterally, potentially excluding valuable insights and contributions from other groups. This collaborative spirit is where the magic of OKRs truly happens.

We invite you to consider the implementation of OKRs within your organisation, with your PMO championing the mission. Collaboration between the PMO and other individuals and groups, driven by OKRs, can lead to exceptional outcomes. Start the conversation today and explore how the PMO can be your organisation’s OKR champion.

If you would like to learn more about PMO, OKR, PPM tools, or discuss how Wellingtone can help improve your PPM capability, please contact us.

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Monthly Newsletter

By: Francisco Torrejón

Francisco Torrejón
Categories: PMO, Project Management

Published: 31 October 2023

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