A few years ago, Program Management Offices (PMO) were all the rage in management. Everyone was setting up PMOs. The question that was often not asked was – whether a PMO was needed and what purpose it would serve. In this blog, rather than asking, do you need a PMO, we are going to explore questions that lead to determining why you might need a PMO.
Questions to ask yourself and your peers:
How do I ensure that our specific organizational objectives (whatever you are trying to meet) realizes its top-level strategy and objectives? Think for a minute – – do you need a centralized group of people to make sure the strategy is broken into small tactical pieces and then implemented? Or, do you need someone to just collect updates from projects and create reports? Often times, a centralized strategy group manages strategy or mission execution, however, in other cases, there is no mechanism in place to oversee all the pieces and that they are well defined and being executed in a succinct manner. Instead, a team that oversees project reporting might be needed to ensure documentation and tracking of projects. A PMO can play both roles.
How do I prioritize resources across many worthy projects? How do I leverage in-demand resources across projects? Resource prioritization and sharing are one of the most difficult tasks in project management. Every organization has limited resources, therefore, prioritizing them such that related projects are funded in the right order is critical to their success. Coordinating a limited group of staff, IT assets, or even space is also a challenge. Does your organization have processes in place that project managers can go to get answers about shared resources? A PMO can serve as a coordinator or even a decision-maker on resource usage.
How well do I measure the success of individual projects and my entire portfolio of projects? Do you have a mechanism in place to understand how individual projects are contributing to the larger overall goal and ensuring they are being executed as envisioned and needed? Who defines the key performance indicators (KPI) or other indicators of performance? If this is a priority and needed, then you need a PMO.
One of the many core skillsets we have within the Artemis Team is assisting Commercial and Federal Clients to set up PMOs that are needed when these questions affirm that a PMO is needed.