Obtaining value through projects and programs is an opportunity for an organisation to expand their business operations and increase their potential for growth. Nevertheless, an organisation’s ability to acquire profound value from their projects and programs is easily hindered when the alignment between strategy and project is missing and the right processes and standards are not in place. In such scenarios, organisations look to employ a Project Management Office (PMO) to help standardise project related processes and provide project support or directly manage one or more projects for the organisation.
PMOs are beneficial in that they assist your organisation with maintaining alignment between project stakeholders, processes and goals, so that project value is always at a gain rather than a loss. A survey conducted by PMI shows that a primary cause of failure for strategic initiatives comes from a lack of clearly defined or achievable milestones and objectives to measure progress. Followed by poor communication, it is already evident to see how challenging your project is when alignment and standardisation is missing.
Having deployed PMOs in complex projects and programs, Op² certainly knows how valuable a PMO can be for your organisation. To understand the importance of this value, our pragmatic consultant Isabelle, sheds further insight on this topic.
Q: In your experience, how much of an improvement have you seen for a project or organisation, when implementing a PMO through Op²?
The implementation of a PMO will bring a structure that enables the project execution team to increase the performance of their project.
Areas of improvement that can be realised through an effective PMO include:
- Aligned processes and standards facilitating data processing and reporting
- A project organisation tailored to the project needs
- An integrated plan that ensures project strategy and milestones are aligned
- Clear reporting that supports the decision making process
- A governance ensuring communication between functions and alignment within the project team
Q: Is there often resistance to employing a PMO for an organisation? Has Op² encountered this in the past and if so, how have they managed to get past this roadblock?
Resistance is usually met within organisations that are new to the PMO or that misunderstand roles and responsibilities of a PMO. For instance, some executives consider PMO as obstacles to their organisation, since PMOs are the function that bring changes to an organisation when new processes are deployed.
Resistance to change is a normal human behaviour, yet there are key steps to overcoming such resistance, which include:
- Involving stakeholders – This will create opportunities for collaboration and will get people to commit.
- Listening to stakeholders – Listening and acknowledging your stakeholders’ concerns will increase their involvement since a communication is possible
- Being consistent and keeping things simple – This gives the opportunity to accept the change and see that change is not a threat.
Q: Op² is very much about maintaining alignment between stakeholder, goals and outcomes. How does a PMO from Op² help an organisation maintain alignment between their projects and programs and their overall business strategy?
Op² has a 3 step approach: Make it simple, Make it visible and Make it happen.
- Make it Simple : Breaking down the complexity of a project by capturing the project scope, timescale and milestones into a single page document.
- Make it Visible: Creating a shared space by implementing a visual management solution
- Make it Happen: Implementing a governance structure to support the decision making
1 – PMI. (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (5th ed.).
2 – PMI. (2017). PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2017: Success Rates Rise. Retrieved from