Jun 8, 2012

Bringing Multiple PMOs Together with PPM

Posted by in Culture & Change Management, Governance, Portfolio Management, Project Management Office (PMO) | 0 Comments

Companies experience revenue growth in a number of ways -- by increasing market share, offering new products and/or mergers and acquisitions. While growth is always a positive thing, there are some organizational side effects. New departments, business units, functional groups, and the like will be created or expanded to meet the new market needs. However, there is at least one side effect that could be harmful, and that’s the proliferation of disparate business unit PMOs.

PM Solutions was recently engaged by a large technology company that experienced phenomenal growth by offering many new products, capturing greater share in existing markets and via M&A activity. They experienced a proliferation of business unit PMOs and gained other PMOs from acquired companies.

While PMOs are typically created out of necessity, the net effect to the company was a loss of senior management’s visibility into the enterprise’s Project Portfolio investment mix. Programs and projects were initiated and funded at the business unit level. There was no common portfolio or project methodology across the PMOs. This made it difficult, at best, to gather any useful information. Senior managers also had difficulty solidifying budgets for the right programs and projects.

Senior leadership determined that an Enterprise-level PMO (EPMO) should be created to consolidate and coordinate the various PMOs. The first goal was to get a consolidated inventory (plan of record) of all the projects that were either active or proposed.  The EMPO team quickly created a flexible intake process that focused getting a common set of metrics. There was a common set of information deployed through a basic Request and Charter template. These documents were used to initiate new projects and retro-fit the ongoing efforts. It was not an easy or simple effort, but, within several months the company had an enterprise-level portfolio.

An EPMO drives cultural balance amongst lower-level PMOs, along with a host of other benefits. But the main consideration is that a single enterprise-level portfolio not only gives senior management a snapshot of the projects being executed and what has been requested, it also quickly gives support to strategic project investment decision making. As the EPMO matures at the enterprise level, strategic capabilities will emerge, such as Program Strategic Alignment, Resource Optimization, Capacity Management.

What have been our readers’ experiences with multiple PMOs in the same organization?

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