I recently delivered a webinar at ProjectManagement.com on how to effectively define a project management office’s business model, functions and structure (watch the recording here).
In that presentation, I wanted to start a discussion on different modern approaches to defining and implementing PMOs. Today, I’m going to share some thoughts and examples on how to do that in practice.
A step-by-step process to define and implement a PMO helps to build buy-in. The following five phases lay out a learning process in which stakeholders are identified and engaged to discuss and develop a PMO model that best suits their organizational needs.
Phase 1: Assessment
Understand the organizational context and assess current project management practices and maturity levels. The as-is situation involves processes mapping and the use of maturity models, such as OPM3®.
Phase 2: Definition
Once the current situation (as is) is described in detail, explore the future desired situation (to be). The Business Model Generation helps in defining the ideal solution for a desired PMO model. The gap analysis between current and desired situations will guide the implementation plan.
This phase also includes defining the following aspects of the PMO:
Mandate: mission and vision
Business model: customers and value proposition
Structure and functions: processes, resources and partnerships
Phase 3: Implementation
This is not easy. It involves a lot of change management and stakeholder management. A phased approach to the implementation is recommended, especially for large endeavors.
You might want to implement a pilot PMO in a region or department before rolling it out to the entire organization. The implementation work packages will depend on the PMO definition. Deliverables might include: training, software, processes, methodology, templates and more.
Phase 4: Continuous Improvement
The PMO is an entity that must deliver business value. Its mission is not to help individual projects thrive but to boost the entire organization’s performance through best practices and governance.
As the organization changes and matures, so does the PMO. It should be a flexible and adaptable structure to accommodate new project management challenges ahead.
A continuous improvement plan may include a maturity-growing roadmap and regular assessment of PMO functions and KPIs to guarantee that it is always reinventing itself before it turns out to be obsolete.
Phase 5: Closeout
The closeout phase should include a celebration of the PMO results, emphasizing its mandate, to engage stakeholders and keep buy-in.
The main lesson: always involve and engage stakeholders properly. Keep in mind that a PMO is an organizational structure that should create value, distribute value and capture value. The Business Model Generation helps to identify what value is for the stakeholders (customer segments/value proposition), which drives the PMO functions and structure.
Example of a PMO Business Model
Of course, you may have other ideas for PMO business models. What are your PMO’s customers? Value proposition? Functions? Share your comments, thoughts and suggestions below.