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PMO Survey: Insights on the Adoption, Role, and Attitudes Towards a PMO
By Pradeep Bhanot

Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) is an essential step in improving project efficiency and success rates. Organisations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) have been advocating the PMO as a key enabler of consistency in project execution and use of best practices.

A recent independent survey commissioned by CA in 14 countries, with data from 249 respondents provides a useful insight into the adoption, role and attitudes towards the PMO.

For me, the most interesting conclusion that can be drawn from the results is that the higher performing organisations had a central PMO. These organisations operated at higher maturity, their PMO added more strategic value and was held in higher regard. The good news is that in many cases the Centralised Project Management Office is considered to be a strategic enabler of business change, with 72% of respondents with a centrally-managed PMO feeling more valued in their company than in a distributed case.

The PMO can be used for tactical functions such as ensuring projects meet cost, content and schedule constraints, but it can also be used to audit strategic fit for the project portfolio. A comprehensive PPM system provides the PMO with a single system view across the entire project portfolio. This enables the PMO to run projects in a more consistent manner and provides the information required to enable an organisation to make important portfolio selection decisions.

Elsewhere, the survey highlights the evolving nature of the PMO. Forty percent of survey respondents have used a PMO for three years or more and one third deployed a PMO more than five years ago. PPM has helped these firms to build portfolios of the most beneficial projects ― increasing value, reducing resource demand, and assuring alignment with strategies.

However, many organisations continue to use disconnected systems such as spreadsheets (17%), a home-grown project management system (12%), Microsoft Project (21%), or various other systems (26%) for PPM. As a result, they are struggling with multiple systems to track costs, which makes it almost impossible to align IT spend with business priorities. Only a comprehensive PPM system enables the PMO to efficiently track IT financials, from project cost accounting to fiscal budgeting and planning to ultimately improve internal customer satisfaction through improved fiscal transparency.

Pradeep Bhanot Markets CA Clarity PPM in Europe. He has worked at BT, the UK Department of Energy, ECGD, Watson Wyatt, Oracle, Serena Software and CA Inc. He’s an ITIL v3 Foundation certified, a PMI member, and has a Computer Science Degree from Greenwich University. Pradeep’s blog can be found at http://clarity-in-emea.blogspot.com/

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