Unleashing the Power of the PMO

When a project management office (PMO) is leveraged to its full potential, it can foster strategic alignment, improve project performance, develop future project leaders and support the success of the entire organization. But if the same PMO is left to languish without leadership and support, it can become a burden on the bottom line. This article examines how a successful PMO can be the difference between an average and a world-class organization. In doing so, it reports the results of a 2012 survey conducted by The Hackett Group, showing that of 200 large global organizations those with high PMO use had higher IT costs and failed to deliver projects with higher ROI. It describes the challenges facing organizations including implementing a PMO as well as implementing a PMO that works. It defines a successful PMO as one that works toward delivering concrete strategic benefits to the organization. The article discusses how engaging with business owners to ensure the PMO’s work aligns with the organization’s strategic goals and reviews how leaders need to outline the standards, processes and practices that projects across the organization will follow. It notes how to measure a PMO’s effectiveness and discusses how measurement and accountability are the primary drivers of an effective PMO. It also notes how top-performing organizations invest in the training and development of their project talent, which can help increase an organization’s project management maturity and boost its bottom line.

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