Mar 19, 2010

Questions, Questions, Questions...

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Project Management Office (PMO) | 0 Comments

Over the next week, I'll point to some resources for the PMO of the Year aspirants who have been contacting me on email and through our Linked In group about the Award.

But today, the questions that are foremost in my mind are the ones asked of Kent Crawford after last week's webinar on Unlocking the Value of the PMO (you can listen to the recorded version here). There were so many questions that we had to record a podcast for Kent to have time to address them all: listen in at this link to hear his complete answers.

One query concerned getting executive buy-in to creating a true enterprise (strategic) PMO, from the starting ground of a basic or divisional PMO. I thought Kent's answer was right on target, because he stressed that, first, you must have your house in order. Don't go seeking more funding and a wider span of control if your projects are not coming in on time and under budget! But in addition to this, you must speak a language that the executive level wants to listen to: the language of profit improvement, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, and strategy execution. Learning to tie project management improvements to these outcomes ... in hard numbers ... is probably the greatest challenge for a PMO that aspires to grow beyond its present boundaries. For those that succeed, the rewards can be great: our 2008 State of the PMO research (soon to be updated with fresh data) showed that high-performing organizations were more likely to host mature, enterprise-level PMOs.

But the connection still isn't intuitive for most on the C-Level ... and that's where you come in. Translating project successes into business benefits is a key responsibility for today's PMO leaders.

Next time: Resource optimization ... or, in Kent's words: "Who's where, doing what, how and when?"


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