Achieving True PMO Value

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

For many, the PMO is primarily a portfolio management, project standards and governance organization. Perhaps that is why so many PMOs fail. How many fail? According to the PMO 2010 survey, 50% of PMOs are closed within four years. Imagine if 50% of marketing, accounting and human resources experienced that type of failure rate; there would be a global crisis.

So what makes the PMO different? One glaring distinction is that most don’t participate in the strategic and business planning process. The PMO’s leadership is not a member of the executive/leadership team. Like many IT organizations, the PMO’s value is discounted and seen more as a cost sinkhole than a success shaper. Given all this, it seems time for a change--it’s time to align the PMO with business strategies, goals and objectives; and it’s time for the PMO to become integral to achieving organizational success.

Imagine a PMO that proactively worked with the organization’s leadership to identify the strategic initiatives that need to be successfully achieved over the next three to five years. Imagine if the PMO didn’t wait for project requests to appear at its doorstep, but instead partnered with the leadership team to create a projects strategy--and then worked cross-functionally and with individual business units to develop project proposals that were designed to …

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