Today’s program management office faces challenges at every angle. From new technologies and environmental factors to shifting business strategies and changing customer expectations, PMOs need to evolve to be more strategic, adaptable and value-focused. Learn a few tips for making the shift in this blog.
Change is evolving into the norm, forcing companies to reconsider not only their business strategy but also their methods of transformation to align with and execute that strategy effectively.
According to Gartner, “Studies indicate more than two-thirds of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution, which is often a failure of enterprise-level portfolio or program management. Organizations often lack a layer between leadership and the professional “do it” people of the portfolio and program management office (PMO) to ensure appropriate tactics.”
To avoid this fate, companies are relooking at their program management offices to ensure they are business-savvy, adaptable and capable of effectively executing their strategies. They are considering technology, data and collaboration solutions to ensure programs and projects align with strategy and deliver benefits.
An evolved PMO will play a critical role in ensuring your company is ready for any change the world throws at it.
Imagining a Modern Program Management Office
Many of today’s companies face unclear business strategies, confusion over their overall objectives, and a constrained workforce. What most companies do know, however, is they’ll need more project managers to help as they:
- Reduce timeframes for implementing digital transformation.
- Take on more projects related to enhanced and emerging technologies.
- Transition to operating models primarily focused on product-based work.
Historically, PMOs were seen as administratively focused on process and compliance. As a result, PMOs must transform to drive new initiatives aligned with your company’s evolving business strategies. They must stop delivering process and start contributing to achieving strategic outcomes. This means they work closely with their leadership to ensure program and project alignment with the company’s vision and culture.
But how do you ensure they’re effective? Your modern PMO must evolve to adapt to the changing dynamics of business and project management and adopt new skill sets to help your organization execute its strategy. Here are a few ways you can start:
1. Value-Oriented Approach
Modern PMOs can provide your organization with the ability to track and measure the realization of business value and benefits, ensuring programs and projects contribute to your organization’s bottom line. It can help ensure organizational alignment, that projects follow through with new processes and operations, and maintain and encourage collaboration across teams.
As you emphasize on value delivery, there are two essential things to remember:
- You need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that link program and project outcomes to the organization’s strategic objectives.
- You need to regularly review these metrics to gauge progress and to make informed decisions to optimize value delivery.
2. Evolve Business Capabilities
Your modern PMO needs to evolve its business capabilities to ensure your organization is ready for anything. This means assessing their operating models and approaches to determine if they can support such capabilities.
For example, to ensure consistency and a significant impact across your organization, contemplate centralizing your delivery project and program oversight in a single organization or hub. In addition, consider incorporating agile and hybrid methodologies that promote collaboration and responsiveness.
3. Facilitate Collaboration and Cross-Team Accountability
Lastly, as you modernize your PMO, you need to identify which behaviors need to change not only in that team but also across the organization. Now that your program and project leaders are no longer delivering process and control and becoming more strategic, they need to model behaviors others must embrace as well. Adopting a culture of agility can help.
It’s time to create new relationships across the organization. Not only should your PMO help foster collaboration among siloed delivery teams, but it should also collaborate with other leaders. The PMO should coordinate and protect projects as needed.
To ensure both collaboration and accountability, your PMO should:
- Encourage and facilitate regular cross-functional meetings where team members can align their efforts, jointly problem-solve, and share insights.
- Have access to metrics and reporting tools to demonstrate cross-team accountability between departments.
Your company must be more strategic, adaptable, and value-driven than ever before, thanks to changing customer expectations, shifts in the market — and new technologies. Don’t leave your PMO out of your transformation.
Instead, have them assess processes, methodologies and performance to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. Because, after all, you can have the greatest strategy in the world. But if your company cannot deliver on it, it’s useless. Take steps to modernize your PMO and watch your ability to navigate your strategy more effectively.