A few reasons stand out when we analyze why organizations fail to design and implement business strategy, from unaligned leadership to management systems that don’t support change. There is one reason for success – or failure – that I have witnessed both as a strategy manager for a large business, and as a management consultant many times: the (non-)existence of a project management office (PMO).
The benefits of a PMO are vast
A PMO serves as a central hub for strategy development and execution, bringing together key stakeholders from across the organization to develop a comprehensive strategy that aligns with the company’s vision, mission, and values. By establishing a clear strategy and roadmap for the organization, the PMO helps to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and objectives, which ultimately leads to improved performance and increased profitability.
By providing a centralized view of all projects and resources, a PMO identifies potential bottlenecks and areas where resources are being overallocated or underutilized, allowing them to make adjustments as needed to optimize performance.
In addition to these benefits, establishing a Strategy and Enterprise PMO improves a business’s project management capabilities by providing guidance and support to project teams, ensuring that they are following best practices and using standardized methodologies for project management. And a PMO can directly provide project managers with training and resources to further develop their skills and capabilities.
The significant RoI of a PMO
Of course, establishing a strategy and enterprise PMO requires a significant investment of resources. However, the benefits of doing so are substantial, especially for businesses of a certain size. I have experienced these benefits first hand when I was a young strategy manager when I built a PMO for the first time. With the help of our CFO, we established best practices that led to multi-million dollar cost savings.
I see the benefits of PMO time and again, when partnering with businesses as a strategy facilitator. I always bring the topic to the attention of my executive clients and those who followed through quickly reap the benefits, mostly in the form of faster progress and more informed decision making, which ultimately lead to more successful strategy implementation.
There are several key steps that businesses should follow to establish a successful PMO:
- Define the purpose and scope of the PMO, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the PMO team.
- Assess a business’s current project management capabilities, identifying areas where improvement is needed and determining the resources that will be required to establish the PMO.
- Develop a clear implementation plan and communicate the purpose and goals of the PMO to the rest of the organization, to build buy-in and support for the PMO, and ensure that everyone understands its role and importance.
One thing is for sure: I’ve never seen a business do worse WITH a strategy PMO than without.
Reach out to discuss what type of PMO your business could benefit from and how to establish it in a smooth and efficient way.
Main image by Christina @ wocintechchat