Project Management

What Defines PMO Success?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

PMI’s partnership with PwC has produced some great reports recently, and one of the newest is Measuring What Matters. In addition to the survey findings and discussions around project performance, there were also some really interesting results around PMOs. Regular readers of my articles will know that I’m passionate about the PMO function, so I couldn’t let the report pass without offering some thoughts on the topic.

PMOs and project success
Let’s start with this statistic: in the survey, PMI found that only 63% of organizations with a PMO engaged that PMO in the development of project success metrics. That’s higher than the 39% of respondents who engaged the C-suite in defining success metrics, but that’s likely down to those executives leaving departments to define their own initiatives and success criteria. It’s a flawed approach, but not relevant to this article.

So, back to the PMO. Less than two-thirds of organizations with a PMO leverage those PMOs in the process of developing success metrics. Why would that be?

To understand that, I think we need to turn the question around and consider why the PMO would be engaged in defining project success metrics. It would be because the PMO was seen as having insight into what makes good metrics, how those metrics should be measured, who should be involved in defining appropriate…

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