Building PMO Creditability

First 100 Days in a PMO: How to Earn Credibility for Your PMO

Getting stuck into a new project management office (PMO) role requires planning your initial actions for maximum impact. One of the first things you need to do in the first 100 days on your PMO is to earn credibility for your office.

Harness your status as a fresh face in a PMO and earn the credibility across the business unit that you’ll need to be effective in the long run. Some people may see your office as a place that processes paperwork and runs reports, but you can take this chance to turn that perception around.

Whilst you may run an office that is about compliance and governance, you can still demonstrate your business acumen and make your project credible. To help you achieve this in your first 100 days in role, we’re going to look at:

  • Reasons you need to earn credibility for your PMO
  • How to assess the projects in your pipeline to achieve this
  • Revamping how projects reach your pipeline to align better with the business

Why do I need to earn credibility for my PMO in the first 100 days?

Walking into a new PMO, you don’t always know how the office has been perceived beforehand. Similarly, if you’re working to create a PMO in an organisation, you’ll feel like you have something to prove.

By working through all the projects that are waiting to start work through your office, you can work on the perceptions of your PMO. When you undertake a broad review of the projects coming up, you’re showing the business that you want to align projects with the business.

Understand how each project fits in with the strategic aims of the business and what the return on investment (ROI) is, and you can ensure that those who work with your PMO know you have the bigger picture in view.

What steps should I take to earn credibility and assess the project pipeline?

You need to dedicate some resources to checking through all the projects that are waiting to kick off under your office. These are the easiest ones to put a halt to if you find issues since less money has likely been spent on it at this point.

Look at how each project fits in with strategic goals and business objectives. You may find older projects that are no longer needed or have been superseded by different tech or no longer match with what your PMO and the company is trying to achieve.

Next, you need to work through the documentation, such as:

  • Risk assessments – ensure they’ve been completed and cover all the different risk parameters. Does the project still align with the business risk appetite?
  • Budgets – ensure that both enough time and money have been allocated, and check that the headline data is accurate. Will the project give enough ROI to be viable?
  • Resource requirements – ensure there are the right people with the right skills are allocated to a project. Are you maximising the human resources across projects?  

Looking at the information that should have already been completed for up-and-coming projects should let you know whether they’re good to carry on or whether you need to pull them and reconsider. You can do this after your first 100 days are complete.

How can I earn credibility in the long-term for my PMO?

After you’ve had an overview of all the projects you’ve got coming through in the next few months, you should start to see how a project gets into your queue.

It’s possible that the process works well and has been refined in the business, or it could be bloated and bureaucratic.

You won’t have time to layout or tweak the whole process in the first 100 days, but you can put into your long-term plan what you want to achieve. This could be elements such as:

  • A clear process for stakeholder sign-off
  • More clarity on how projects in the pipeline are prioritised
  • Streamlining the people who need to give initial approval

By improving how projects reach the stage of coming under your purview, you can ensure that everything your office runs has clear and evident benefits for the business.

The take-home

In the first 100 days of running your PMO, you need to establish credibility so that the office will survive and thrive into the future.

Working through everything that’s ready to go but not yet running and making sure that it hits the right strategic notes will show the business that you’re serious. It’ll also demonstrate your business acumen and overall commitment to making the business a success.