Improving PMO Value

Luis Cáceres is an Associate Partner for LATAM in Global PMI Partners and a Managing Consultant in Improving Performance Ltd. He is certified as a Change Manager, Professional Coach, PMP and Agile PM. He is an author and speaker on the development of managerial competences and has over 16 years of experience managing projects and PMOs in Latin America. He is currently focused on managing post-merger integration on M&A deals.

How many times have you heard that PMOs add bureaucracy to processes? That’s a common complaint from stakeholders and sponsors. The project team sees PMO members like "cops” of bureaucracy.

Statistics from recent research shows that 46% of CEOs don’t understand what a PMO does. The value of the PMO is questioned in nearly 25% of companies. When hard times in the market pressure companies to do more with less, the hunt for costs to cut becomes merciless. In that scenario, nobody says: "Let’s close the marketing department." But PMOs are closed, proving that PMO value has become one of the biggest challenges for PMO professionals.

Objections about PMO practices come in the perception of their value. When people cannot see the benefit of these activities, they consider them meaningless. How is this possible in matured PMOs? How does the value of getting 95% of projects on track and on budget mean so little to executives?

The value of the PMO depends on the benefit delivered to the client and, most important, on the client’s perception of that benefit. Let’s visualize this important concept. What would be most interesting for companies like Google: to get the project on schedule and on budget, or to deliver the expected innovation? The first step to increase the value delivered is to acknowledge that what is important to …

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