PMO Part 2: When It’s Time to Make the Move

August 24, 2016 by The FlexPro Group

The case for how a Project Management Office can benefit business seems relatively open and shut.  After all, who wouldn’t want to add experience, stability, and consistency to a cluttered, chaotic situation?

Earlier this month, we outlined why a PMO could be right for any company as an upgrade over a portfolio of projects that are often managed by individuals with little communication.  However, as with most decisions to implement widespread change, determining the true business value of a PMO is critical before any action is taken.

How much does is influence the success of projects?

How much money can we save in the long-term?

How much additional cost would there be?

Can we meet program objectives without a PMO?

All of these questions are relevant when examining a shift in the operational foundation of a company. Funding can dry up quickly with expensive solutions that often leave a business in far worse place than ever before.  But if the conditions are right and the price tag fits into the budget, a PMO can revolutionize the way a company operates day-to-day.  Let’s take a look at a few situations in which a Project Management Office may be the best solution:

Large, Increasing Scope

One of the three key baselines laid out by Forward Momentum is project scope and its ability to grow with each decision made on the road toward completion.  Naturally, the larger the scope of the project and the more widespread the impact, more organization is needed.  As a project or program continues to morph during the planning stages, individuals begin to face the challenge of understanding how the end product affects the plans of others, known or unknown.  Installing a body to oversee complex initiatives and interdependencies can save project managers from being overworked and companies from the unforeseen.

High-Level Reporting

As one of the trendiest topics in the world of project management, metrics and performance measurement lead the conversation when it comes to sustained success.  Though some project managers have a better feel for numbers than others, companies absorb risk when leaving performance evaluation and the resulting decisions to individual PMs.  The presence of a PMO is not only an added layer of accountability for a business over the life of a project, but it allows for standardized metrics to ensure consistent success through objective data.  Stretch this concept over a portfolio of projects and the entire program can become a well-oiled machine.

A Need for Experience

In order to continue cultivating reliable, effective personnel, businesses will often mix experienced professionals with younger energy, eager to learn and hungry to take on more work.  With a larger number on the latter side of the equation, a PMO can help spread the experience of few to the many in need of guidance.  A consistent, regulated project management toolkit can arm individuals at every level and allow them to thrive in their own projects.  Building a community of PMs is an excellent way for inexperienced professionals to grow quickly and make the most of their personal development.  With everyone working together under the same governance and helpful oversight, a PMO can have a company fulfilling its operational potential.

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