Project Management Offices (PMOs) provide substantial cost savings and other benefits when they align with the delivery of the organization’s strategic plan. Does your organization have a PMO and does it deliver value? How do you measure that value?
It should be readily evident that an organization will have a hard time succeeding if its projects are not managed effectively — on time, within budget, and delivering stated business outcomes for clients. Your PMO should be an essential part in your organization’s project management practice and should be delivering results that are vital to business and mission success. Thus, a thorough analysis of the “state of current practice” of your PMO is extremely valuable in discovering areas for improvement and in making certain that you are delivering the highest level of value expected.
Conducting an Assessment of your PMO
The objective of a PMO assessment is to expose the issues, gaps, challenges and key decisions to make with regards to the current project management environment and project portfolio.
Key reasons to conduct an assessment of your PMO include:
Improved business alignment with strategic goals;
Enhanced functional users’ involvement;
Increased awareness about the PMO and the value of the PMO; and
Better communication with functional users.
Review Current Project Portfolio
The PMO assessment should include a review of the current project portfolio, including carrying out an evaluation or survey of any existing project-based structures and a high-level assessment of the current portfolio of projects. It is important to also incorporate in the scope of the review how projects are completed today; the perception of project management and what things are valued.
Review Existing Processes
The PMO assessment will help you establish what existing project management methodology and governance reporting is currently in place. The use of process mapping to name requirements which are critical to the success of the PMO will help to arrive at a full view of requirements including both the requirements to be addressed by the PMO and the requirements to be addressed outside of the PMO.
Establish a Desired Future State for Project Management
One of the goals of an assessment is to create a desired future state for project management within the organization and then perform a gap analysis between the current and future states.
Some aspects and benefits of a future state would include:
Cost savings in avoiding failed projects and project pitfalls;
Creation of a common understanding; and
Project assurance to meet organization, industry and regulatory requirements.
Perform a Gap Analysis
At this stage, it is necessary to perform a gap analysis between the desired future state and the current state. This analysis will shape the foundation of an initial PMO Strategy.
Build a PMO Strategy
Defining a strategy will help get the PMO aligned with the other strategies in the rest of the organization. The Gap Analysis will offer a way to develop a PMO Strategy and to find “Quick Wins” for the PMO. It is essential to possess clear tactical and strategic goals to better prioritize projects with business partners and to make the business more efficient and effective through technology.
A key goal of a PMO strategy is to determine the PMO reporting relationship. It is considered a best practice to have the project management office report to the CIO’s office; it truly becomes a central place for project management and mentoring. It also makes certain that standards and process changes occur at the highest level inside the organization.
Quite often an organization will have the functional and technical resources necessary to establish and operate a PMO, but not the project management resources required to execute delivery of the PMO function. Litcom has the combination of resources, methodology, and assets ready to provide unbiased oversight and project transparency. For more information on how Litcom can help with your PMO needs, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org