The Project Management Office’s (PMO) Today and tomorrow
As we close out the year 2020 and start thinking about 2021, I wanted to share some thoughts if you plan to revamp or create from scratch a business PMO in the coming year. What I have here below are what I believe could be considered aspirations for excellence to strive for within your PMO that are focused on driving strategic initiatives throughout the organization. As a reminder, a strategic PMO is where the organization keeps the overall strategy document that senior executives have produced, setting the vision, and priorities that everyone should focus their energy on. This strategy document helps identify those projects and programs that should receive the majority of the energy and should keep the organization from straying from the core mission. Let’s jump into the aspirations for excellence now.
Strategy and operations
- The PMO promotes collaboration and coordination across functional departments and teams. Strives for accountability and clear ownership to achieve goals.
- The annual planning process is clearly documented with procedures on how all departments should act to ensure consistent execution across the organization. This process enables accurate and timely budgeting and planning.
- Governance structures are in place, allowing for efficient and effective use of resources.
- Everyone understands their role in the organization and how to effectively work together.
- Organizational alignment exists to enhance project success through flawless execution.
- Monitoring and reporting ensure benefits and results are tied to organizational strategy.
Procedural and process definition
- Scope management processes ensure a clear line of sight for project teams to identify end-state goals. Regular reviews drive out Scope creep and allow for communication of scope modifications.
- Capacity planning is reviewed regularly to ensure resource alignment and prioritization.
- Methodologies drive consistent and predictable execution. Projects deliver timely deliverables tied to initial requirements.
- Tools and templates are used by all departments consistently to improve communication and ensure the right level of documentation across all teams.
- Organizational strategy is top of mind for everyone and should be where initial goals are identified across teams.
- Best practices are documented and reused throughout the organization to drive excellence. New practices help teams identify creative ideas and keep teams fresh.
- Risks and impediments are documented and regularly reviewed for successful risk mitigation.
- Departmental goals are aligned with organizational strategy. Roles and structures are consistently reviewed to ensure alignment to strategy.
- Without people, there is no organization.
- Don’t be afraid to ask people for their opinions and recommendations.
- Continuous learning is the hallmark of a creative culture; without it, your strategy will become stale.
Aspirational goal setting is never easy, and it is just as hard to maintain focus on the overall objectives when people are settled into the daily ways and habits. The good news is that you can start building your 2021 goal list now and share with other people to get their perspective and feedback. The strategic PMO becomes the heartbeat of many well run organizations and should set the tone for others to follow. The PMO should ensure that the organization’s strategy document with its vision and priorities are well known by many and consistently reviewed and updated for relevance. In the words of Vince Lombardi “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
Paul Kesler, PMP, CSM, SSBB, is an experienced project and program manager with industry experience in Software Publishing, Payment Solutions, Financial Services and Receivables Management industries. His experience includes leading business strategy execution, working with C-Level and Senior leaders of various business lines to meet company annual goals and objectives. Paul is comfortable leading business projects like Go To Market launches of new cloud products and leading technology implementations and integrations such as Salesforce. He is also an active member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Project Management Institute (Atlanta Chapter). Paul writes about change management.