Do you hate when your projects are running over budget but your people are under-utilized? A strong Project Management Office (PMO) may be just what your organization needs. Every company has projects, large or small, but not many create the foundation of a Project Management Office to align and support their strategic business goals. A strong PMO can drive success and change, increase profitability and improve performance. Here are some common indications that a PMO would benefit your business:
Lack of Visibility
Do you have many projects occurring simultaneously, and have problems knowing how individual projects are being tracked? Do you find out about risks after they have already become blocking issues, and notice projects coming in behind schedule and over budget? A PMO can provide daily visibility through reporting and project status updates which will give business stakeholders the information they need to make informed and necessary decisions in order to see projects succeed.
Many organizations invest in projects that will drive their business to improve and change, placing emphasis on planning before the project begins. Once the project is active, however, some may feel the planning is complete and lose focus in that area, believing the plan will fall into place. A PMO will set up standards to support the planning process throughout the whole project and to be able to deal with scope changes, prioritization, and effects to the timeline.
There are many different ways to communicate throughout a project but often without a set standard of communication, some team members will simply sending an e-mail to get their message across. Creation of a standard communication schedule comes from a PMO, which allows each project manager, team, and stakeholder to know what to expect for every level of communication throughout the project. This also allows any risks, issues, and blockers to be addressed in a timely manner to be able to reduce any effect on the project. A strong communication credence within an organization will lead to a higher success rate for completing the project on time, on budget, and within scope.
All departments within an organization may have their own projects happening simultaneously, each with their own different methods of driving those projects forward. This creates a lack of consistency within the company as a whole for measuring the success of each project and the value it brought to the organization. A PMO gives you a centralized governance and standards to scale across your business. This will allow an established methodology to be set in place, that creates project coordination, better utilization of resources, and improved monitoring and forecasting.
Businesses worry about the costs associated with projects and if the investment is worth the value. Alarmingly, on average, one in every six projects have a cost overrun of 200%. The cost of any project is driven by several key factors, including planning, visibility, communication and consistency within the organization. These key factors are overseen by a PMO which can govern the standards of each project to ensure cost is being monitored and variances are being addressed quickly.
The Project Management Office definition has changed to be a critical component of an organization for helping to drive the strategic vision and achieve business success. Selecting, and succeeding in, the correct projects for your business creates positive change, resulting in cost reduction, and optimization of business process. A PMO also acts as an unbiased party whose primary focus is project planning and monitoring, without the worry of splitting time to work on other technical tasks. The time and cost required to implement a PMO will result in lower costs overall and a positive impact to your organization.
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