Project Management

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Topics: Governance, Healthcare
How did your organization know it was time to go from an IT PMO to an EPMO?
I would love to hear from anyone who has transtioned from an IT PMO to an EPMO, especially if you are in healthcare. How did you know it was time? What does your project governance structure look like in regards to how projects get approved, priortized and who manages the portfolio? Since we are striving to get to one enterprise portfolio, it only makes sense to consolidate governance. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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To be honest I allways face this type of situations inside organizations with a good definition of their enterprise architecture, I mean, defined at least the business layer, the application layer and the technological layer. In other situations I ever facing the case where a PMO becomes into EPMO due to the others architectural layers start to define its own PMO. No matter what, the definition is a matter of strategy and from the strategy you define your enterprise architecture. Remember: strategy is the way the organization will answer the environmental stimulus.
Hi Sua. We are in a similar PMO situation here, having an identified need for an EPMO instead of the current IT PMO, and are in a healthcare setting (acute). We are very much considering the EPMO will be focussed on business transformation, with IT as an enabler. Similar challenges too no doubt in deciding on governance- but our thinking is around having clear clinical leadership as the priority. Early days yet. This may be different for other types of healthcare organisation- what is yours?
Hello Sua, I was once part of the team that transitioned from being a IT PMO to an CPMO, not in healthcare though but in Insurance (close). The main reason was the importance that senior management started to give to Project management and identifying that PMO forms the bridge between Business and IT.

If you plan to go corporate/ enterprise then make sure your reporting is also someone within the board/ senior management (CXO). This helps a lot in providing the visibility and traction required for you to execute within the organization. Obviously have a charter have a map to identify the different aspects of the organization, something like an airport, where the control tower is the PMO (providing guidance), the pilots (the PM's) and so on. The reason i state this is you should not be considered as a ivory tower. So communicate quite often and openly
Hi Sua – first of all, congratulations – if your org is considering the transition to an EPMO they see the value of your IT PMO and want to leverage that success. In my experience, knowing when it is time to make that transition can be tricky in healthcare because many hospitals came late to project management and have not yet matured their processes or governance. Because of this, I’d take extra care to know it is time. These are the questions I’d want answered:

1. What is driving the expansion? You mention the goal to get to one enterprise portfolio. I’d want to understand why. Whereas in a hospital/clinic setting there may be some coordination and reporting advantages – that can be accomplished in ways other than expanding the PMO. I’d keep teasing the reason to transition apart so you can then clearly establish deliverables for the shift to EPMO.

2. Does the transition have key stakeholder support, including the c-suite? Yes, I’ve gotten a call from my CIO before that the new “enterprise” PMO was immediately shifting back to an IT PMO because the CMO was upset. The CIO alone cannot support this type of transition no matter how committed and enthusiastic they are.

3. Does the organization adhere to governance and project processes for IT projects? In most orgs, PM’s get things done and that gets noticed. But, if they have to micromanage, cajole sponsors, and badger team members to do so it is not time to expand the PMO’s role. I’d recommend maturing the IT PMO first and considering the transition in the future.

If you are satisfied with the answers to these, the information can be incorporated into the transition project. And yes, I’d run the transition like a project – including bringing it through the governance process, creating a business case, developing a charter, schedule, budget , etc. Best of luck!

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