Creating a new project management office (PMO) is a major challenge, so you’ll want to set yourself up for success. One of the main PMO success factors is to have well-defined KPIs so you can measure what success means.

Defining and going on to achieve the KPIs you set out for your PMO will make sure that you know where your success is coming from. It will also give you long-term data to demonstrate your PMO success after you’ve shown your early wins.

Here, we’re going to look at:

  • How to choose your new PMO’s KPIs
  • What you need to do to ensure they’re aligned with business strategy
  • Examples of what your PMO’s KPIs could be to get started

So you can get your PMO’s targets ready to go from the beginning.

What factors determine the KPIs of a new PMO?

Creating a new PMO mean creating a new set of KPIs. This is how you’re going to measure your success in the long run. It’s a common trope that PMOs only last a couple of years, so having solid data to prove the value of your office can ensure its longevity.

Every PMO and every business they operate in is different, but in general, you want to ensure your KPIs will:

  • Be outcome focused – You need to understand what is expected of your PMO and build KPIs around that. If you’re expected to bring in more projects on time and on budget, you need to have measures for this within your KPIs, for example.
  • Be SMART – Each KPI needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, which will keep your new PMO talent motivated and keen to engage in the work they do.
  • Be continually improved – What’s important at the start of the PMO’s life may not be relevant to the projects or the wider business a year down the line. Make sure your KPIs are flexible in both what they measure and how that’s done.
  • Be aligned with business strategy – KPIs need to deliver what the business needs and this will be dictated by the business strategy. Make sure you know what the business and its leaders expect when you’re outlining what you’ll deliver.

How do I ensure my KPIs align with the organisational strategy?

All other factors feed into aligning KPIs with business strategy. You have to know what you and the business is working towards before you can confidently set targets.

First, you need to get a handle on exactly what the business strategy is. You can do this by looking at internal and external strategy and policy documents, working with existing projects, engaging with stakeholders, and having conversations with your C-suite and, specifically your PMO sponsor.

Next, look at the key initiatives within the business that define what it’s all about. There may be a focus on environmental, social, and governance goals or a range of other initiatives that you’ll be expected to feed into.

Finally, you need to understand exactly how your PMO is going to work within these. The role of your PMO should be made clear when it’s commissioned. You will need to know what you have to do to figure out the targets you need to set within the strategy.

What do PMO KPIs look like?

You will need to define your KPIs with an eye on the type of projects you look after, the industry you’re in, and what the business wants to see from your office. Some examples of KPIs you can adapt to your PMO could be:

  • Project success rate
  • Resource utilisation rate
  • Portfolio ROI
  • Schedule variance
  • Cost variance
  • Stakeholder satisfaction

You’ll need to research industry benchmarks and past performance in the business to set the numbers behind what you’re going to work towards.

Defining new PMO KPIs to set your office up for success

The KPIs your new PMO works towards will set you on track for success. You need to have numbers to measure what is working and to understand what you need to iterate and improve on.