Mar 12, 2010

"Trust Me, Our PMO is Great!"

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Governance, Performance Measurement, Portfolio Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Resource Optimization | 1 Comment

Yesterday I listened in on my CEO Kent Crawford's webcast on "Unlocking the Value of the PMO" I was struck by the theme of the questions being asked by the participants. "What if you don't have the authority to implement resource management policies?" "How do you get the executive level to pay attention to the need for portfolio management?" and so on.

Granted, webinar participants are a self-selected group, and the title would draw those who are seeking (or struggling) to communicate more clearly what a PMO offers to the organization. But, listening to their questions, I shared some of their frustration. Nevertheless, one quick audience poll that Kent took offered a glimpse into their problems: nearly two-thirds of the listeners were not measuring performance.

[Pause while I let that sink in.]

Thus the title of this blog post. If you aren't measuring benefits ... you have nothing to say to the C-level of your organization except "Trust me, this is working" - an unlikely strategy. I'm repeating myself here (see my previous post) but being able to assign either a dollar value, or an important organizational goal achievement (which isn't always money), to the activities of the PMO is absolutely critical. Kent pointed out that there are four subjects that are relevant to the C-level's information needs:

1. Governance - How does the PMO make the organization run more smoothly and predictably?

2. Portfolio Management - How does the PMO help us work on the right projects, all the time?

3. Resource Management - How does the PMO help us put the right people on the right projects, and optimize the value of our human capital?

4. Performance Measurement - How is this making us money, or moving us towards important strategic goals?

A PMO director who can't answer at least one of those questions with facts is in deep trouble these days.

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1 Comment on “Trust Me, Our PMO is Great!”

Alex S. Brown PMP IPMA-C says:

It is unfortunate, but the term “PMO” has been used to describe so many different types of organizations, it has almost lost meaning. I agree with you and Kent, that the PMO should serve the strategy of the company and help the organization make sure it is executing the right projects. I have seen many PMOs without that kind of authority or oversight.

It is sobering that nearly two thirds of the people were not measuring performance. Even if the PMO is serving in an administrative or training role only, I would expect them to measure their performance somehow.

Thanks for the post, and keep us all thinking about these important issues.

—Alex

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

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