The significance of PMO has been on the rise from its first ever use in 1930 (ref pmi.org) up until now. PMO has evolved so much and will continue to evolve for adapting to changing circumstances. It has been an essential department for a number of organisations by providing direction, standards and governance. PMO has become a strategic tool for organisations ensuring executive’s and senior leaders take better investment decisions. One of the most prevalent responsibility of the PMO was to keep all stakeholders at all levels up-to-date providing reporting on portfolio, programmes and projects. It is because of this PMO there has been an increase in successfully delivered projects. PMO generally performs a wide range of activities including governance, ensure transparency, best practices, delivery support, traceability etc..
Now depending on the size of the organisation, it is not easy to survive with just a single PMO, hence some organisations were able to establish a PMO at each level. PMO’s are now established at 3 levels including portfolio, programme and projects. These 3 levels has operated at various levels within the organisation including divisional (tactical), business unit (operational) and project (operational).
EPMO (Enterprise PMO)
As the complexity increased strategic alignment between the PMO’s has become challenging which then forced organisations to establish enterprise PMO which directly reports into the C-suite.
“A strategic PMO goes beyond the traditional project management categories, with an expanded role that links strategic objectives to individual projects and portfolios.” — pmi.org
EPMO was able to ensure organisation implements corporate standards, processes and methodologies which is then passed onto to divisional, business unit and project PMO’s. Since the introduction of EPMO organisations were able to ensure portfolios, programmes and projects were always aligned to organisation strategy.
Again with the shift in time organisations are facing digital disruptions which is forcing them to rapidly change their business models. Organisations no longer can depend the business model, corporate strategy which were defined some time ago (more generally 5 years) and would need to be adapted more regularly ie. 1 or 2 years.
“Approximately 60% of PMOs that focus on tactical operation struggle to adopt enterprise digital changes.” — Gartner
APMO (Agile PMO)
Agile methodologies have been in existence since 2001, more details about its manifesto can be found at agilemanifesto.org. Agile practices has been very successful for organisation who have embed following 4 values of agile including
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan.
Agile PMO (also sometimes known as AMO) has been introduced and they have now become change enablers. APMO can adapt to rapid change in the business model and allowing organisations to keep up with change. The biggest selling point of adopting an APMO is acceleration of time-to-market. APMO is a fundamental shift in organisation thinking of how it perceives projects will be delivered. Entire organisation has to adopt agile mindset to be successful, a combination of different PMO’s will increase tension and will ultimately break, hence this has to be adopted from executive and senior leaders to every single member of staff. Some of the difference in thinking are
- “Products” not “Projects”
- “methodology-driven project execution” to “value-driven business outcomes”
- “Team and Velocity” not “Resource and Hours”
- “Agile Servant Leadership” not “Command-and-Control Leadership”
- “enterprise requirements community of practice” instead of “project management or business analyst team”
There is no one size fits all solution for a PMO. Each organisation will have a different set of requirements which will allow the executives and senior leader in making a choice. Some or all of these statements will define what an organisation should choose
“Number of changes in our business model is very minimal”, “Change in policies and procedures will take a long time due to being regulatory”, “We update
our business model frequently due to change in demand from our customers”, etc..
Irrespective of the type of PMO you choose organisations always have to invest in training and coaching, this is absolutely necessary to ensure everyone talks the same language, understands the governance and be part of the journey. Also if you are moving from a PMO to AMO, keep in mind this shift is not going to be easy as it requires a lot of changes, will require everyone to have an open mind to adapt and should be given enough time for the transition.
At ACS we have experts who could help your organisation to setup and implement PMO that fits to your requirements. Complete the form for a free consultation and we shall be in touch to understand your specific requirements.