How Green is my PMO Garden?

How Green is my PMO Garden?

Insights | 09 February 2015

We have a Project Management Office (PMO) but….

….the results aren’t as good as expected. There are still too many business problems that we thought the PMO and project delivery method would address. What is going wrong? Why are there still so many business problems?

First let’s consider an analogy. If you are growing a vegetable garden from scratch the process goes something like…

You discuss the project with family members and agree what you wish to grow. You make sure there is commitment to looking after the garden. Then the garden is built and planted out using the correct soil, fertilisers and plants for the climate, season as well as family food tastes. As the plants grow they are fertilised, watered, weeds removed and bugs squashed! Finally after a period of growing, the fruits of your labour are realised with fresh produce on the dinner table.

What all gardeners realise is that if the correct approach to growing the veggie garden is not taken the crop will fail!

‘Growing and harvesting’ your PMO follows a surprisingly similar process to that of the vegetable garden. Let’s look at the process again from a PMO perspective:

You discuss the PMO with key stakeholders and agree the vision and objectives and make sure there is commitment to the PMO (a usage mandate). Then the PMO is built including a holistic delivery framework for Portfolio/Programme/Project Management but also covers/interfaces to other processes as needed such as change management, procurement, IT processes etc. As the PMO runs KPIs are used to measure performance and compliance. Corrective measures taken as needed. Finally after a period of ‘growing’ the fruits of your labour are realised with successful programmes and projects.

At a high level the overall delivery framework must balance the people, process and technology elements to be successful.

Now…. do the 5 question “How Green is my Garden” PMO Assessment:

1. The vision and objectives of the PMO documented and communicated.
2. There is a PMO Charter and Usage Mandate. The PMO is empowered by its reporting line
3. PMO Services and delivery framework are fit or purpose and support success
4. Performance and compliance is governed, corrective measures/improvements are made regularly
5. Programmes/projects deliver to time, cost, quality and benefit more than 80% of the time.

On a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (very good) how well have you performed?

Many PMOs have a profile similar to the one below. The framework is in place but is missing some process elements, more importantly however other elements are not sufficiently mature. This is the key!

So what are the next steps?

1. Conduct a holistic review of your PMO
2. Develop a practical improvement roadmap
3. Implement changes over time
4. Govern the PMO and take corrective action.

PM-Partners believes business success (yours and ours) relies on project success. So, we help our clients get better results from their projects, programmes and PMOs, by applying maximum flexibility to delivery, based on over 18 years’ experience.

Want to build a PMO or do you need to realign your PMO to business objectives? Speak to our PMO Consultants today.

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