Every business unit needs to have targets, and your project management office is no different. Those targets do need to be reviewed at certain points, and when there are a lot of activities not getting done, you need to ask are your KPIs working?

Sometimes, picking up the slack for team members is a short-term thing to help the person or business out. However, the activities and services may be too much for your team and there is no budget for hiring new resources.

In this situation, you will need to recentre the expectations of your PMO to make sure they match with the resources you have available. We’re going to look at:

  • When you should review your PMO’s KPIs
  • How to check the suitability of your current targets
  • How you make changes to your KPIs to reflect reality

When should I review my PMO’s KPIs?

During the process of designing your KPIs, you should have set a review date for them. It is possible that this can get lost as you work through day-to-day operational challenges or you may start to see your office overburdened without a review in sight.

Warning signs you need to review your KPIs include:

  • Tasks not being completed month-to-month
  • Team members showing signs of burnout
  • Short-term fixes being deployed regularly

If you know your resources are working well and don’t need performance management, then the KPIs aren’t matching your capabilities.

How do I know if my KPIs are suitable for my PMO?

At the inception of your PMO, there will have been a set of activities and services outlined. In a fresh PMO, you can refer to this, but if your PMO has been around for a while, you might want to consider completing a process such as the PMO Value Ring to establish expectations.

You need to know what your PMO should be doing. These activities will be different depending on the type of PMO you work in, such as a business-focussed or compliance PMO. Either way, you need to know what you should be doing.

Once this is understood, you need to look at the resources on hand. Do you have enough headcount to complete the work required? Do the people in your office have the right skills?

Knowing what your PMO is capable of delivering is important because you need to be able to connect what is expected with what you can achieve.

Look at your office-level KPIs and break those expectations down. Every activity or result that is expected should be assigned to a person or group of people. This is when you will understand if your PMO is oversubscribed.

How do I change my PMO’s KPIs?

It isn’t quite as simple as choosing to change what the business expects of your PMO.

You will need to work with your PMO sponsor and the C-suite to establish that there is a disconnect. Gather data from the exercises you completed about your activities and headcount and present this information to the stakeholders who can sign off on new KPIs.

By presenting the data you can show a clear need for either a change in expectations or, in the best-case scenario, the need to hire more people and spend money on training.

When you ask for your KPIs to be adjusted, you should go in with suggestions. Make sure they are aligned with the business’s overall strategy, and there is still clear value being added – this will make it easier for those with the power to agree changes.

Reviewing your PMO KPIs

You should have a regular schedule to check that your KPIs still align with what your PMO is capable of. When you start to see your office not coping with the workload, you may need to bring that review date forward.

When you realise your KPIs aren’t working, you need to present the business case to your PMO sponsor and get your adjusted targets signed off.