Dec 17, 2016

Making the Leap from Tactical to Strategic: Some Advice for PMOs

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Project & Program Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Project Management Research | 1 Comment

New research shows that outside consultants play an important role in elevating the PMO to the strategic level.

Although is is not a major theme in our biennial research study, The State of the PMO, there's one data point that I always keep a close eye on, and that is the use of outside contractors to manage the PMO or to manage specific projects and programs for the PMO. Over the years we've seen the percentage of companies who employ outside contractors for these roles vary, often simply reflecting the larger marketplace forces (such as a dip in the use of consultants following the economic crisis of 2008). But one trend remains constant and solid, and that is that "Best-in-Class" PMOs have a markedly higher reliance on outside help. Take a look:

  • 58% of PMOs overall engage contracted resources to help manage projects and programs
  • 67% of Best-in-Class PMOs do so (contrasted with only 51% of PMOs scoring at the Basic level).

The contrast is even more marked when you look at PMOs that bring in outside help to manage PMO operations:

  • Only 14% of PMOs overall enage contracted resources to help manage the PMO
  • 67% of Best-in-Class PMOs use this strategy (vs. only 10% of PMOs on the Basic level).

Why is the outside perspective critical to these high-scoring PMOs? Our consulting practice director Roger Bryson had a good take on this in an interview last year. We all know the adage, "No one is a prophet in his own land," and when it comes to implementing new processes and organizational structures, and spearheading change, nothing says execution like an expert with no baggage. The case study featured in our newsletter last week provides a perfect illustration of this point: read here how First Bank underwent a rapid organizational change process with consulting and training backup from PM Solutions and PM College.


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1 Comment on Making the Leap from Tactical to Strategic: Some Advice for PMOs

anuja says:

Thank you for giving the great advice to how to turn from the tactical to strategic for PMOs. I like your post.Thanks for research on this one.
You’re such a gem for providing this information!

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 7:28 am

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