When the PMO Means Business

Steve O'Connor

PMOs can be strategic partners with the business, participating in a collaborative dialogue with stakeholders to apply resources and propose solutions to strategic needs. But heads-down line-of-business executives aren’t likely to initiate that discussion. It requires bolder PMO leadership, backed by the CIO.

Talk to CIOs and project management office (PMO) leaders at businesses in virtually any industry, and you’ll hear a common refrain: Make a bigger impact and make transparent what you’re doing for the business. Projects are the most visible contribution IT makes to the business units, but only make up about 20 percent of the IT budget so there’s little room to “do more” by spending more.
If you think it’s a Catch-22 with no ready solution, think again. There’s a silver lining of opportunity inside. The key to breaking the vicious cycle is for CIOs and PMO leaders to proactively assert a greater role in the business side of the enterprise.
The CIO, and the PMO that supports him or her, is uniquely positioned to open a collaborative dialogue with business executives and build a foundation to more efficiently apply IT resources to business issues. Line-of-business executives aren’t going to open that dialogue. They’re typically heads-down, addressing challenges unique to their organization, be it finance…

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