What’s the benefit of a “Simply Better PMO”?

A well implemented and managed PMO is a very effective way of optimizing support for projects, programs and the overall portfolio.

The benefits of an effective PMO are potentially of three types:

  • Enhanced internal capability
  • Increased delivery reliability
  • More effective governance

Enhanced internal capability results in greater efficiency, consistency and overall overall delivery capacity through

  • A tried and tested, multi-disciplinary approach, will enable better definition, planning and implementation of complex undertakings
  • Standard deliverables will permit greater sharing and re-use across initiatives and a progressive increase in the deliverable quality
  • A consistent approach will establish a platform for more efficient training and development activities
  • An enhanced program management capability (framework, tools and people) will enhance the organization’s capacity to handle major initiatives and reduce reliance on premium external resources

A PMO can form the center of excellence for project and program management and provide an ideal development environment for PM staff.

Increased delivery reliability results from the application of robust planning, control and assurance disciplines through

  • Integration of multiple streams enabling a better focus on objectives, integrity of design, synchronization of plans, realization of synergies and optimal use of constrained resources
  • Deployment of proven concepts and techniques designed to cope with numerous dimensions of complexity and to provide effective management control over such undertakings
  • Greater ongoing assurance of overall project/program health – through better understanding and control over what they key factors are affecting the progress:  risks, issues, changes, dependencies, deliverables, resources, costs and benefits
  • A focus on business implementation, as well as solution development, will ensure adequate focus on preparing the organization for migration to new methods of working

The management of inevitable complexity and the relentless focus on delivery is what makes a good PMO invaluable to delivery success.

More effective governance results from insightful management information through

  • More informed decision making – through effective governance arrangements, understanding of what really matters and timely accurate reporting / communications
  • Improved understanding and matching of resource demand and priorities – all geared to support a wider range of initiatives
  • A focus on achieving benefits, rather than just implementing systems or accomplishing tasks or milestones.

Effective governance, while not normally considered a benefit of a PMO, adds value to management by bringing order and rigour to an area that is usually ignored within the project and program management space.

There is undoubtedly a place for and a lot of benefit to be gained from the application of training, methodologies and technology.  but a simply better PMO reasserts the basic human skills, structure and relationships needed for it to deliver the benefits the organization requires. 

Estalishing clear expectations, and setting up the PMO to align with the organization it is intended to support ensures it becomes more proactive on delivering value added benefit.

My next post deals with deciding on the right support model and how to set up the simply better PMO.

John Hall


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