The continual success of a Project Management Office (PMO) is related to the PMO constantly demonstrating to the executive that it adds value to the business. Successful completion of projects on time, on budget and within agreed scope are a good measure, but in today’s business environment executives need to know where value is created and benefits achieved.
A recent global survey revealed that executive dissatisfaction and a lack of support is one of the core reasons why the average lifespan of a PMO is just 4 years. Despite this crucial factor, many PMOs fail because they forget the importance of marketing themselves; constantly demonstrating their value to a business and their overall successes. For PMOs to do this the appropriate structures and measures must be put in place and aligned with corporate objectives. Where the structure and measures are missing, it clearly demonstrates to the executive a lack of business value.
Value creation is only as effective as the associated strategic planning, portfolio alignment and governance.
A clear indication of where these factors are not working is when projects and programs have to fight to obtain executive support and measures of success are limited or non-existent.
Whilst the function of PMOs are varied and should change when the business changes, reporting value to the executive should remain as the key focus. This also helps to maintain strong relationships with executives and other key business departments. Throughout the lifespan of a PMO – for every project, and especially every success, there should be the constant fostering of executive relations to ensure the continued operation of a PMO.
The use of expert support is an increasingly feasible and accepted solution for a PMO when they are struggling to deliver results or to present adequate value to the executive. This approach can be very effective, as external experts have the broad experience across many PMOs as well as the background to operate at the appropriate level. This can prove vital regarding reinvigoration of a PMO or marketing a PMOs success.
“It takes time to establish a successful PMO, but those that have been in existence for more than 10 years are highly respected in the organisation and over half (53%) of these established PMOs are perceived as having a strategic value or influence.”
PM-Partners group PMO Trends 2012 Research Report