Many PMO Directors want to provide value and actually think they are based on their “inside-out” view of the world. The “outside-in” perspective tells a completely different story, one that for many unsuspecting PMO Directors will have a very bad ending: their PMO will be disbanded and they will be looking for work. For the past two years, ESI International has conducted comprehensive global surveys of the State of the PMO, and analyzed scores of others. For more than four years it has engaged PMO Heads from every industry sector in round table events.
And what the surveys reveal will startle, and educate, PMO Heads in every geography and industry sector. In short, what a PMO Head thinks they should be doing is, in fact, the last thing they should be spending your time on.
I’ve taken those findings and boiled them down to 5 key takeaways; ways, in which value can be boosted. In today’s post I’ll address the first; namely
Measure and monitor the PMO’s performance on a regular basis
In ESI’s most recent global survey on the PMO, the findings revealed that only 54% of project and program managers reporting directly to the PMO said that their PMO measured its own performance. Thirty-two percent said their PMO did not measure their performance, and an alarming 14% said they did not know if their PMO measured its own performance. It is difficult for to comprehend that 14% of the project and program professionals who report directly to the PMO Head did not know if their PMO measured its own value. Obviously, these are project professionals who are not in the communications loop as regards their own PMO’s activities. Clearly, PMO Heads need to do a better job of communicating activities to the staff.
I see two problems here. First, every, and we mean EVERY PMO should be measuring itself on a wide assortment of metrics to see if they are providing value to the organization. Second, it is absolutely imperative that all project professionals know whether their PMO is measuring itself, and if so, what metrics are being used. And, it is the clear responsibility of the PMO Head to make sure everyone knows what those metrics are.
It is incomprehensible to me that a PMO can claim to be providing value to an organization if it doesn’t measure itself. It’s a data driven world today. Anecdotal evidence, “gut feeling,” and “hearsay” just don’t count when a PMO Head is talking to an executive. Executives want facts to make “data driven” decisions. A PMO Head who cannot produce the facts will not be able to convince or persuade any executive that the PMO is performing as planned. There is an old saying in the quality management business that goes something along the lines of “what gets measured gets done.” Measure your PMO and what you measure it on will get done. What are those metrics? In my next post we’ll look at Number 2.