One of the first things you need to implement a new project management office (PMO) successfully is management buy-in. Having the business leaders on board with the actions you want to take and changes you want to implement will make everything else progress much smoother.

Of course, the business will have already identified a need for a PMO before commissioning and setting it up. However, you will still need to make sure the management team continue their support as you set your PMO up for success.

  • We’re going to share with you five ways you can secure management buy-in at the start of your PMO journey, looking at:
    Why you need management buy-in
  • Five ways to ensure management buy-in
  • What’s next after management buy-in

Why do I need management to buy into the PMO I’m setting up?

You need management buy-in for your PMO to ensure leaders know what you’re doing with your office and why you’re doing it. You are going to be pushing through changes that could affect a lot of projects and business areas, so having leaders on-side is important.

It’s likely that your PMO will be a business expense – although as your PMO matures, you may be able to start to demonstrate an ROI. When you cost the business money, you need to make sure those who hold the purse strings see why the expense is important.

You also want to make sure there won’t be a block put in your way. If you experience pushback from project managers, for example, you need to have engaged management who can ensure those problems are dealt with.

How do I ensure management buy-in to make my PMO a success?

We’ve identified five steps that you can take to bring the business management along with you as you create your new PMO:

  1. Identify the leaders to work with – As you start to set up your PMO, you will start to understand the leaders who you will need to work closely with. These are the ones to focus your relationship building on since they can dictate your success – or otherwise.
  2. Share the benefits of your PMO – People need to know what you will add to the business to really support it. Draw a line from your intended work and outputs to the business goals and strategy, so the value is clear to see.
  3. Define your PMO scope and activities – Make it clear what your PMO will – and won’t – do. This will make sure expectations are clear from the start, and when you are taking over a set of activities, they won’t be duplicated by another department.
  4. Provide data for your existence – The PMO has been commissioned for a reason, so take the time to look at the past performance of projects and see what’s gone wrong. Use this data and your scope of activities to show how you will make business improvements.
  5. Work with your sponsor – Sometimes, your PMO will be assigned a sponsor at inception; other times you need to seek out a C-suite sponsor. Make sure you work well with them, keep them updated, and give them wins to share with their colleagues.

Working with management from the beginning should make sure they support your PMO in the long run.

What’s the next step after management buy into my PMO?

You will need to continuously work with the business management to ensure they support your office. If you leave your PMO “ticking along” it can be easy for everyone to forget why it was needed in the first place.

Keep up your communications and regularly report on the improvements you see in projects.

Getting management buy-in to ensure PMO success

When you secure management buy-in for your PMO, you will lay the foundation stone for its success. You will have the support of influential people to drive your agenda forward.