Results of a new global study by ESI International reveal that many organisations do not operate their Project/Programme Management Office (PMO) as effectively as they could. Of the 82% of organisations worldwide that reported having a PMO, more than half do not even measure PMO effectiveness.
Additionally, the survey results show that as PMOs have matured, organisations are increasingly questioning their value, ability to measure effectiveness and their role in growing PM capabilities through effective training.
“The large majority of organisations who have PMOs indicate that they understand the advantages that PMOs can offer,” said J. LeRoy Ward, PMP, PgMP, Executive Vice President, Product Strategy and Management, ESI International.
"The results of ESI’s global survey indicate numerous areas where PMOs currently need to step up their game to demonstrate the impact of those advantages, including measurement, effect on career progression and their strategic role in the organisation.”
The discussion about PMO maturity has been overtaken by the discussion about PMO value, with 60% of respondents claiming their PMO’s value has been questioned.
The survey finds that 76% of non-PMO staff say their organisation either does not measure or they do not know whether it measures PMO effectiveness. In fact, 52% do not measure PMO effectiveness at all.
Meanwhile, 40% of respondents say their PMO is operating to a fair or poor extent.
Another key finding of the survey is that the PMO is a hub of project management training for some, but its positive influence on career progression is questionable.
The PMO is strongest in conveying methodologies and other PM ‘hard’ skills (72% agree) and weakest in reviewing the effectiveness of training and its impact on project and programme performance (only 35% agree).
The measurement of training impact is widely neglected in North America and EMEA, with 28% and 25% of PMO staff respectively reporting they do not measure training impact at all. It is more common in the APAC region, with only 18% who report they do not measure training impact.
Many PMOs are not operating at a strategic level with only 20% of respondents reporting they engage in portfolio management, and 15% reporting that they track return on investment and benefits realization, finds that report.
“PMOs are clearly established in the organisation,” says Ward. “However, they have only scratched the surface in reaching their full potential.”
MORE ARTICLES ON MANAGEMENT