6 Ways You Can Have The Most Effective Project Management Office
The statistics for project management office appears to be on both sides, depending on what survey-research and numbers you are looking at. There are instances of success and failure of project management offices across industries. However knowing what all factors which lead project management office (PMO) to succeed or to fail, is important for a business to prepare itself, for success and thereby reducing the chances of failure. These factors could be
- Simplicity of and Clarity about PMO Goals, Objective
- Executive Leadership buy-in, Support
- Experienced PMO leadership
- Adequate/Insufficient PMO Staffing
- Simplicity and Clarity about PMO Processes, Policies
- Visibility and Authority within Organisation
- Organisation Culture, Trust Quotient
- Effective Change Management, Catalyst Champions
- Communication, Feedback Mechanism
- Flexibility and Adaptiveness
Knowing all these factors, let’s look at how one can prepare himself/herself, team, organization for the most effective project management office (PMO). There are six ways one can initiate the process to set up project management office.
Ascertain Right Need of & Opportunities For PMO
First and foremost, the project organization should be convinced about setting up the project management office (PMO). So answering the question: does your organization need a PMO, will give you some pointers.
- Why do we need a PMO?
- Which areas are expected to benefit with a project management office implementation?
- How to define and quantify those benefits?
Get Right PMO Leader to Drive PMO as a Sustainable Activity
Having the right man at the helm of the PMO team is the most critical element of all. Rightfully chosen PMO leader can define, drive, nurture, sustain the PMO initiative. S/he will be able to navigate right from project team member pain points to convince executive stakeholders, to inspire PMs.
Get Long Term Buy-In From Executive to Establish PMO as a Business Operation
Just like any business requires sustainable sales and marketing efforts to survive, grow, similarly if project delivering organisation is convinced about having a PMO, then there has to be a long term commitment, support from the executive management. There will be ups and downs, there will be questions about its utility in a shorter run. PMO leader can sail through the rough waters, if s/he has strong, sound support of the executive management.
Collaborate, Communicate about PMO Policies, Processes, Benefits, Trust
Establishing and running a functional and effective PMO team is about convincing everyone about its benefits, by answering the question “What Is In It For Me?” at various levels. It is also about establishing the trust element, that yes, we are doing it for the greater good and eventually it is going to help us all.
It is important to have clear communication and collaboration with project teams, project leaders, project managers and other stakeholder while formulating, explaining PMO policies and processes. Such communication is critical especially when PMO processes is going to change the way project team members, project managers have been managing their daily project activities.
Think Always Ahead of The Curve: Early Warning,Adoption Traction
There will be difficult times during implementation of PMO, stakeholders might question the utility of it, express frustration of additional activities they may need to perform. For the most effective and functional PMO, the PMO team need to think ahead of the curve, look for early warning indicators.
PMO team will have to continuously track the traction how PMO is being perceived, how it is being practiced, etc. Thinking ahead will equip you to realign your strategies in the most appropriate way e.g. identifying right change agent, involving change agents at right time, understanding and alleviating stakeholder’s concerns/resistance.
Document your learning, situation analysis, best practices, etc.
Keep The Morale High for PMO Team, Participating PMs, Project Leads
Ultimately PMO is a team effort. If project team wins, PMO is going to win. Simple, isn’t it? You got it right. It is all the more critical to keep the morale high for the PMO teams, participating PMs, volunteer project leads, champions, etc.
It is important to keep in mind – not to have unrealistic expectations about PMO. Implementing the most effective PMO is a lengthy process that requires meticulous planning, leadership drive, team efforts and constant learning.
Implementing PMO does not give you a magic wand that will magically drive higher success rate of project delivery. You will see the improvement incrementally, in a phased manner.
Additional readings about project management, leadership
- Case Study: What Happens When Project Team Has Dual Reporting
- Avoid These 10 Most Common Mistakes That Leads to Project Failure
- Back2Basics: Ultimate Project Management Guide: Project Planning
- Ultimate Guide to Select The Right Project Management Software
- 8 Reasons to Decide Whether Your Organization Needs Project Management Office
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