benefit of PMO standardization

Why standardization is critical for your PMO

One of the benefits often used to explain the value of a PMO is standardization.  However, this is often mentioned as a single sentence or a bullet on a slide.

If you were using this as one of the benefits to gain the support from senior management for setting up a PMO, what would your answer be if someone asked “So what are the benefits of PMO standardization?“.  Would you be able to respond without hesitation with a confident answer?

This post aims to provide ideas on the benefits achieved through standardization so that you are ready for when the question is asked!

Consistency

By having clearly defined standards i.e. a set template with defined field values for a project status report, this ensures that all projects should be providing similar information in the same format.  The more projects being managed, the larger the organisation, the global reach, all increase the importance of this theme.

Efficiency

The use of standardization provides many forms of efficiency.

  • Project teams will not have to spend time working out and designing the tools and processes to manage their projects.
  • It will enable the PMO to consolidate information quickly as it all will be in the same format.  This is one of the core benefits of the PMO Template Framework available within the members area.
  • Reduces the time that is spent orientating stakeholders around the format of templates and reports.  A big saving when the same stakeholder may sit on several steering committees.  It means they know what information will be provided and what it means.

Speed

Having a standard approach to the PMO tools and processes to be used by each project should speed up delivery.  The reason being that each project can be provided all the information that they need at the project initiation stage.  This means no time wasted designing, understanding and implementing the project support framework.  This will allow the project team to focus their attention on the activities to progress the project not setting up the methodology.

Probability

Standardization should mean that all projects are executed using the same methodology.  As the methodology is refined over time by learning from mistakes, this should allow the tools and processes to be refined to help reduce the chance of the project being delayed i.e. by managing risks and issues in a timely, consistent manner.

A good analogy is a coaches “play book“.  If you have a defined offence and defence that works, you want to ensure that the team executes as close to the “play book” to increase the probability of a win.  Having a standard set of tools and processes is the PMO’s “play book“.  The more your learn and refine, the increased chance of positive outcomes.

Control

This is linked to Probability.  Having an established process that is followed by all projects should mean that the project is executed to the required standard, that the project is under control.  This is important as the PMO cannot be monitoring every project every minute of the day.  The standards help ensure this on behalf of the PMO.

Summary

While not an exhaustive list of benefits for standardization, these are important themes.  Understanding and using these as the drivers for your PMO will help you implement a PMO that is set for success.

PMO Standardization Presentation