PMO Best Practices

The best-performing project management offices reduce business risk, optimize resources and contribute to business growth through a portfolio management office, according to Gartner.

Reduce Business Risk

When it comes to reducing business risk, top PMO offices establish a flexible, end-to-end project management process that balances rigor with overhead. They support the process with simple-to-use tools to plan, manage, track and report all project activities. They make the tools available over the company’s intranet along with examples and instructional support. They provide formal training, coaching and mentoring to both IS and the business to develop competent project managers. They are flexible in sourcing and providing project management resources. They provide project management assistance, such as consulting, problem solving, audits and expertise.

Optimize Resources

Highly effective PMOs optimize resources by expanding PMO oversight to include business and IT projects, and projects sourced externally. They institutionalize project management discipline into the culture to free up resources to focus on program management. They use program-level visibility to indentify and alleviate resource contention issues. They educate the business, IS and external stakeholders about their shared responsibilities for ensuring program success. They expand governance body membership to represent the expanded stakeholder set of programs. They establish communications programs to keep all stakeholders informed and committed to program success. The provide collaboration tools to facilitate the work of the business, IS and external project teams.

Contribute to Business Growth

The best-performing PMOs contribute to business growth by enlarging the breadth of PMO influence to extend from strategy formulation through benefits realization. They also position the PMO organizationally outside IS to give it independence and senior management sponsorship. They design governance to focus senior management on strategic issues. High-performing PMOs also integrate benefits realization into the entire lifecycle starting with planning, and report on it regularly. They implement portfolio management tools that provide high-level visibility and analysis that inform decision makers. The broaden PMO staff competencies to include strategic planning and investment analysis, and they implement knowledge management tools to capture, categorize and distribute best practices and lessons learned.

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