Defining what success means is a key element to achieving it with your new project management office. Businesses want to see results and return on investment, so you need to be able to demonstrate your PMO successes early on to build momentum as a successful office.
PMOs sometimes get a bad reputation, with a decent proportion lasting no longer than two years. Of course, you want to buck that trend and alter any negative perceptions about your office before they get a chance to grow legs.
To make sure your stakeholders recognise your PMO success from the beginning, you can implement some or all of these five ways to demonstrate success.
1. Establish goals and KPIs
Defining what success will look like is an important part of being successful. You need to understand what is expected from your new PMO by:
- Your PMO sponsor
- The C-suite in general
- Stakeholders such as clients
- Project managers
- Other business areas
With this, you need to set general goals that align with the business and it’s strategic objectives.
Having KPIs that are tangible and measurable will give all of your stakeholders the assurance that you are serious about success. Knowing that you will have numbers to present to define your progress will give people confidence in your actions.
2. Document your success stories
I can take a few months to get solid, reliable data to feed into your KPIs at the start of your PMO. When you need to get your success in front of people quickly, you can tell a narrative story of how things are already improving.
You will have a lot of things to work on when you establish a PMO, and a solid communication plan is one of them. Start as you mean to go on a share case studies of successes.
This could be a blog article or email blast to the business explaining how the new PMO processes have been designed, implemented, and quote feedback from the people using the process. You can also use some early data here, as long as you’re cautious and honest about it.
3. Share early data
As well as including some data from the first few months in case studies, it may be suitable to present other raw numbers to show early success.
Make sure that you’re clear about the level of detail and analysis you’re able to share when giving out early data to manage expectations. For example, the numbers may start out artificially high if the baseline before your PMO started operations was particularly poor.
Conversely, it may take a few months for your efforts to bed in and really see some value being added.
Whichever is the case, share some numbers to show you’re moving in the right direction, and counsel caution.
4. Run surveys and interviews with stakeholders
If you want to manage perceptions of your PMO, asking what those perceptions are is a good place to start.
You can conduct short surveys asking project workers what they think of your work so far. You can have a formal meeting with your PMO sponsor to gather feedback, as well.
By asking if people think you’re successful, you will have shareable information and can also get early ideas on what might need tweaking or some extra attention. It also shows that you’re serious about defining and communicating your success from the start.
5. Offer training and support
With a million things on your plate as a new PMO, it may feel early to offer training to the wider business.
However, getting positive perceptions of how successful your work is does make this somewhat of a priority. You can create online courses to show what project management techniques could be rolled out to the wider business, such as documenting processes or how to gather accurate data.
This way, people and departments who take heed of the training you make available will see that your techniques can drive success.
Demonstrating early successes in your new PMO
You want to make sure your PMO is successful and is perceived as successful from the outset. By putting energy into demonstrating success from the very beginning, you can make sure your new PMO is set up for success.