An Innovation Revolution (Part 2): PMO
This month, I’m focusing a number of articles on the idea of post COVID-19 innovation. I started that in my strategy-focused piece by considering the need for leaders to embrace more innovative project investments as part of the recovery. Assuming that happens, there are going to be a lot more projects being delivered that are focused on achieving innovative outcomes, and that puts a lot of pressure on the PMO to perform. So how will things change?
In the last few years, there has been a switch in focus for project managers from delivering their initiatives on time, on scope and on budget. Now there is much higher expectation that projects can be delivered on benefit—capable of achieving the business goals that were the reason the project was funded in the first place. That has required project managers to have a much larger business focus in their work—looking at the operating environment their project will be releasing into and prioritizing business outcomes over features and functions.
And of course, PMOs have had to mirror that adjustment if they are to be able to support project managers effectively. I have been an advocate for PMO resources to be even more focused on the business than on projects, because ultimately, they have to be able to explain the business context to PMs and teams—to help the team translate the business need into what is
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