A lot is written and talked about PMO’s, but how is it that there are still PMO’s that are not functioning properly? To get an answer to this question, you have to question when a PMO functions well and which value they bring to the organization.

A PMO can bring value in a lot of different areas, in this series of blogposts we focused on 15 PMO values we value highly. We are releasing five additional values every week in the coming two weeks, stay tuned!

Some numbers

Did you know 31% of projects do not meet their goals and business intent? Companies fail or fall short of their potential not because of bad strategies, but because of a failure to implement good ones.
Did you know 41% of projects go over budget? Organizations in Europe waste an average of $131 million for every $1 billion spent on projects due to poor project performance.

Research on the impact of PMO’s shows :
✅ 43% improvement in aligning projects with organization’s objectives
✅ 27% improvement in customer satisfaction
✅ 33% improvement in projects delivered under budget
✅ 25% improvement in productivity
✅ 25% decrease in failed projects

A PMO must bring immediate value to the table

A PMO can be found on several levels in the organization. A PMO can support a single project, support an entire program or even be set up at organizational level to support all portfolios, programs and projects. Not taking into account at which level the PMO functions, it only functions well if it adds value. That value consists mainly of 15 important value aspects.

These values should support the PMO in supporting the organization in:
✅ doing the projects right
✅ doing the right projects

  1. Standardization ensures consistent quality
    👉 Optimize the start-up and closing of projects by adding standardization and quality-enhancing measures.
    The way a project is started or closed can be made less dependent on the project manager assigned to the project, which guarantees a constant quality that is crucial for the success of a project.
  2. Integral planning for a dynamic project organization
    👉 Provide integral planning and estimation across all projects.
    Projects are almost never static after the start: scope changes, resources change, planning needs to be adjusted… By making a distinct connection between all projects, the impact on projects becomes clear when other projects start to shift. This is essential within programs and portfolios.
  3. Support in stakeholder management and communication
    👉 Improve structured stakeholder management and support in drawing up quality communication plans.
    Every project manager must be a great stakeholder manager and communicator. Practice shows that not every project manager is equally good at this, so projects show varying results. The PMO can provide the necessary support and provide the organization with standards.
  4. Actual follow-up of a business case
    👉 The business case of a project, that’s what we do it for in the end.
    So why is it often only drawn up at the beginning of the project and not managed afterwards? Who does the follow-up of the benefits when the project is completed and the benefits often only need to be realized in the line organization?
  5. Integral and centrally organized resource and capacity management
    👉 An important phenomenon in organizations is the lack of insight into which resources, when and for how long work on which projects.
    A good PMO assists in providing insights into resource utilization and helps to solve bottlenecks.

You don’t easily come across PMO’s that have implemented all the value aspects mentioned above and in the other blogposts in this series.

If you’re curious about how mature your PMO is, I invite you to fill in the Online PMO Maturity Assessment, which will take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete and provide you with an insightful report on how mature your PMO is and what value aspects you can work on within your organization.

Read more about the 15 import values a PMO delivers: