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Elevate Your PMO: How Looking to the Future Drives Value Today

Create a forward-thinking mindset for better business outcomes

Published By Andy Jordan
Elevate Your PMO: How Looking to the Future Drives Value Today

Succeeding in today’s fast-paced world requires thinking about success beyond today and tomorrow. It requires envisioning and forging a path of sustainable success over multiple business cycles. At the heart of this endeavor lies the project management office (PMO).

A well-run PMO is one of your organization’s greatest value drivers. It delivers business results quickly through projects and work that addresses various business needs and responds to new market and customer demands.

But how do you ensure your PMO is capable of driving outcomes and enabling sustainable, long-term success? Through a forward-thinking mindset.

In this post, we’re going to talk about how your PMO can be ready for the future. This is part three of our series titled “Elevate Your PMO.” You can read parts one and two here:

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our existing webinars in this series. You can access the on-demand versions by visiting:

The Future Is Coming, Are You Ready?

The entire world of projects is about shaping the future of your organization.

Business leaders are constantly looking for ways to plan for upcoming business needs, such as:

  • Accurately forecasting costs and efforts
  • Using scenario planning to assess potential impacts of decisions
  • Balancing trade-offs between competing priorities
  • Funding initiatives incrementally, based on their progress
  • Tracking planned project costs, timelines, and resources against the actual costs, schedules, and resources used

The PMO plays an important role in helping leaders achieve those outcomes by executing and delivering projects. As such, business and project leaders are always looking ahead to plan where they want the enterprise to go.

However, how far they’re actually looking forward can be influenced by several factors, including project management methodology.

Traditional waterfall project management will develop a plan for the entire project lifecycle before executing the project. They’ll make adjustments to the plan as they go, and those adjustments are generally done on an ad-hoc basis. Agile teams, on the other hand, work with the expectation that they’ll iterate their solutions in future cycles and improve as they go.

When comparing both types of teams, you can see how the timeframe for looking forward varies based on their methodology. Traditional waterfall teams may work with plans that are several quarters in advance, while Agile teams may be focused on two-week sprints.

And where does today’s PMO fall on the forward-looking continuum? For many, not far enough ahead. Most PMOs focus on the current portfolio and the current fiscal year. At most, they may begin to look at the next year during financial planning activities, but that’s about it.

This shortsighted approach makes it harder for organizations to navigate change by working against their efforts to capitalize on new market and customer demands.

This is something we’ll dive deeper into in our upcoming webinar titled “Long-Term Thinking for Today’s PMO.” Make sure you register for it and discover how to become a PMO that helps the enterprise achieve sustainable business value that extends well into the future.

Modern PMOs Look to the Future

The business world as we know it is constantly changing, and it only makes sense for the PMO to evolve with it. The most effective PMOs shift their priorities by focusing more on business outcomes than tactical outputs. In doing so, they become one of your organization’s most trusted strategic partners.

This is where forward-thinking becomes critical. For your PMO to have a positive influence on company strategy, the PMO needs to be thinking beyond the immediate future. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Work extends beyond the present: The body of work your teams are assigned doesn’t just exist in the present; it impacts the future
  • Future work demands different resources: The nature of work is constantly changing, and it’s important to anticipate and prepare for those changes
  • Change is disruptive: Poor change readiness can come with negative consequences

The truth is that change can be a good thing. You can use it to capitalize on new opportunities and improve your competitive positioning.

On the other hand, change can be disruptive when organizations don’t prepare for it. In these situations, undergoing sudden change can feel like being blindsided.

That’s why it’s critical for today’s PMO to look beyond the present and the immediate next step – to look far enough into the future to enable long-term success.

Elevate Your PMO by Embracing the Future

Becoming a future-focused PMO that delivers business value sounds like a great opportunity. But how do you put it into action?

Join me and Dave Blumhorst as we dive into the benefits of looking further into the future. We’ll cover the steps you need to take to elevate your PMO’s impact and drive business outcomes that support your enterprise today and further into the future.

Click here to register for our upcoming webinar titled “Long-term Thinking for Today’s PMO” on Thursday, June 20th at 12:00 PM Central Time.

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Written by Andy Jordan

Andy is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a strong emphasis on organizational transformation, portfolio management and PMOs. Andy is an in-demand speaker and author who delivers thought-provoking content in an engaging and entertaining style, and is also an instructor in project management-related disciplines including PMO and portfolio management courses on LinkedIn Learning.