Transformative Leadership Sets Financial Services Enterprise PMO on Fast Track to Strategic Value


The bank, which operates over 100 branch offices in three states, found itself at a crossroads. Having spent significant time creating a good strategic plan for the bank, they wanted to improve execution and delivery. Executive leadership recognized the effectiveness of aligning projects and strategy; and realized that the company’s existing project management processes were ad hoc and inconsistent across IT and business projects.


The company had begun the process of building an Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) and there was energy, support, and sponsorship for the potential value that an EPMO could deliver. However, initial attempts to get this organizational transformation program off the ground had faltered.

One of the executive team had read J. Kent Crawford’s book, The Strategic Project Office, which outlines plans to build an Enterprise Project Management Office. Initially, the bank reached out to PM College in early 2015, with the thought of developing the skills first, then working toward the structure and methodology. But as the PM College business development representative listened, she realized that, in order to fully realize the benefits of the training, the bank needed to first create the structure and processes that would give newly trained project managers the tools to succeed. She took the bank’s overview of their issues to her PM Solutions consulting colleagues and enlisted their help to frame the problem and its solution.


Bringing in an expert was viewed as the key factor in accelerating the adoption of the EPMO in the minimum amount of time. The managing consultant quickly established a strong partnership with the new EPMO director. Some of the solutions agreed upon included:

  • Partnered to develop a roadmap for EPMO formation, while coaching and mentoring the EPMO team to drive ongoing results. Create a charter and executive steering committee to guide the evolution of a strategic EPMO.
  • Conduct Discovery—a process of stakeholder interviews and process mapping—to identify gaps and develop a roadmap to drive subsequent capability improvement.
  • Initiate capability improvement efforts based on the roadmap. Where practical, capability improvements were initiated in parallel with roadmap completion.


Business impacts included:

  • De-scoped a major project using the new project management methodology, allowing the company to spell out immediate possible achievements
  • Guided the enterprise-wide development of a project management culture, a significant organizational change
  • Stronger partnership with business leaders and transparency of Project Inventory and Status
  • Prioritization of project selection and timing including the declination of projects that did not meet strategic objectives
  • 40% improvement in closing projects during first 6 months of EPMO.