Knowing how to increase the value added by your project management office (PMO) will make your office more effective. Oftentimes, PMOs can be short-lived. This is generally because the C-suite can’t identify the value being created by PMO operations.
Adding value with your PMO isn’t just about protecting its existence. Bringing more value into the business will drive the success of the organisation and help it to reach its strategic goals.
How to add that value is a challenge that you can work towards through amending some of your PMO practices and improving others. In this article, we’ll cover:
- How a PMO can demonstrate its value
- Four tactics for increase the value added by your PMO
- The KPIs you can use to measure each one
How can I demonstrate the value added by my PMO?
As with any department, a PMO needs to justify its existence and the money invested into it. The overall task of a PMO is to get projects delivered on time and on budget. Other elements come into it, such as:
- The return on investment (RoI) on each project
- The innovation coming out of the PMO
- How satisfied project stakeholders are
Among many others.
Every PMO will have a set of KPIs laid out by its board-level sponsor. You need to understand how each metric is measured so your PMO can monitor and deliver the data regularly.
Along with measuring the KPIs for the PMO and presenting them at performance reviews, it’s important to communicate the office value wider. Making colleagues across the business aware of you PMO activities and value added will earn respect.
What can I do to increase the value added by my PMO?
It’s vital you understand what the business understands about the value of the PMO, to start. Look at the KPIs and metrics that have been laid out. Be sure to challenge any that could have negative impacts. Once you know what is seen as valuable to the business, you can target your actions.
Here are some broad examples of what actions you can take to increase the value added by your PMO.
Deliver more projects on time
Delivering projects is the bread and butter of PMO. You can do absolutely everything else right, but if he projects in your office are late and expensive, you can’t claim to be effective.
- Some things you can do to increase project delivery include:
- Simplifying projects into smaller, more manageable tasks
- Rationalise projects requirements – it can’t be all things to all people
- Have project teams focus and not multitask across projects or teams
- Set, monitor, and manage timelines effectively
Measuring schedule adherence throughout projects, as well as the final completion date, should allow you to see where problems arise in the timeline. It will also mean project managers have more control over their work.
Shift to be a business-focussed PMO
A business-focussed PMO has a lot more emphasis on achieving business goals rather than monitoring data. To add more value, look at the role of a business-focussed PMO and see if you have scope to move in that direction.
Having more control over the commissioning of projects will mean you can spot which projects will add value. You should see an increase in project RoI as well as stakeholder satisfaction.
Introduce Agile project management
Agile project management is effective for getting projects delivered. It differs from traditional, Waterfall project management in that it’s more responsive to change. With projects split into smaller chunks, it also means you can monitor the value being added during the project, not just upon completion.
If you already use Agile, revisit the principles and consider refresher training for your team. You should see an uptick in schedule adherence as well as employee satisfaction without rigid controls.
Train and upskill your team
To get more value out of your existing PMO team, make them better workers. Identify skills gaps and train the team you have. Review your industry for future trends and ensure you have colleague who can face the challenges and trends coming down the track.
This is a longer-term way to add value, but you should see changes in employee engagement and retention rates quickly, whilst future projects can be more technical and deliver stronger results.
The take home
It’s important to demonstrate the value added by your PMO. There are ways you can increase the value-added by your PMO, such as changing the focus of your PMO and upskilling your team. Taking early and decisive action will see your PMO contribute positively to the bottom line of the business.