Jun 9, 2014

Another Take on the Types, Levels and Responsibilities of PMOs

Posted by Johanna Mickel in Culture & Change Management, Project & Program Management, Governance, Performance Measurement, Project Management Events, Project Management Office (PMO), Strategy Execution | 0 Comments

What does "dynamic maturity" mean for your PMO?

I left the Gartner PPM and IT Governance conference last Wednesday evening with my head spinning: information and insight overload! A few days to process was required. Now looking back, I have to say that in many ways the last day of the conference was the most rewarding.

Although the closing keynote by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was inspiring, from a nitty-gritty good working information point of view, Gartner Analyst Donna Fitzgerald got my vote. Within our company and on this blog, we've recently been talking about all the shapes and sizes that PMOs come in, and the value each one brings when it is properly tailored to the organization and focused on its mission. So Fitzgerald's talk on "The EPMO from Initiation to Dynamic Maturity" had me nodding my head. The concept of "dynamic maturity" really resonated. One of the reasons PM Solutions did some research and focus groups a few years ago looking at a new way to measure maturity for PMOs, was that a simple stair-step progression of maturity doesn't really fit this organizational structure. PMOs come into being sometimes at the enterprise level, with a strategic mandate. Sometimes they rock along for years administering a single major program. Which is more valuable? Which more mature? A more flexible way of thinking about PMOs is needed. Among the practical, realistic points Fitzgerald offered:

Four Key Missions that Drive Different Styles of EPMO

  1. "Where does the money go?" is the question at the center of the Enterprise Reporting Office. (Another slogan for this office, Fitzgerald quipped, is "all status reports are lies.")
  2. "Navigate the landmines" is the mission of the Strategic EPMO, a center for political expertise.
  3. "Facilitate change" is the battle cry of the Business Transformation PMO, which usually sits over a companywide program. (In our PM Solutions lexicon, this would be and Enterprise Program Control Office.)
  4. "Revenue and cost" drive the Central EPMO, which is a hands-on tactical leader with all projects reporting to it.

Six Value Components: Mix and Match

Fitzgerald also discussed the pressing issue of measuring the value of the EPMO. Cautioning that "you have to be reflective in determining value," she offered a list of the different types of value that can be added by various PMO functions and encouraged PMO leaders to think about ways to quantify all of these:

  1. Financial
  2. Strategic
  3. Operational
  4. Cultural
  5. Competitive
  6. Social.

This list inspired our editor, Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin. Look for her series of posts discussing each of these types of value, coming up over the next few weeks on this blog.

Interested in discussing these Gartner presentations or takeaways further? I'd be delighted. Shoot me an email: jmickel@pmsolutions.com and answer the question: what does "dynamic maturity" mean for your organization?



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