May 20, 2010

PMO Research Reveals Strengths, Challenges

Posted by J. Kent Crawford in Portfolio Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Resource Optimization | 0 Comments

It's gratifying when a trend you've been predicting ... and in some ways, leading and guiding ... becomes the norm. That's what has happened recently with the organizational clout and position of the PMO. Back in 2000, when I wrote The Strategic Project Office, the enterprise-level PMO that was actively involved with strategic projects, and considered an asset by the highest levels of the organization, was mostly a dream. So were some of the role descriptions in my third book, Optimizing Human Capital. Roles like Portfolio Manager and Chief Project Officer were on the wish list in 2005 when that book was released.

But with the release of our new study, State of the PMO 2010, it's official: The PMO has arrived. Over 90% of the organizations responding to the survey either have a PMO or are working to establish one in the near future. The majority of them work at the enterprise level. Most of them - and ten years ago, this would have been thought heresy - manage projects and project managers (as well as a wide variety of supporting roles) within the PMO.

And, most importantly, very few of them report having their contributions questioned by executives.


I know, that is pretty amazing. The PMOs in the research group say that their value to the organization is unquestioned. That's doubtless because, when you look at the list of initiatives they are managing, you have to wonder how their organizations could function without them. Check out these numbers:

  • 72% of PMOs implement or manage the governance process
  • 64% advise executives
  • 62% participate in strategic planning
  • Nearly 60% of PMO Directors report to the EVP level or above.

Of course, even the most valued players in the organization have issues, and for PMOs, the issues primarily revolve around resource management. The study showed that even the most mature PMOs struggle with this area, and for the majority of PMOs, improving resource management is a top priority for the coming year. Tune in to my next webinar for some discussion and tips on resource management and the PMO. We'll talk in more detail about the survey results, and share some strategies for ways your PMO can become an organizational powerhouse, too.

"See" you there!


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