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Eliminate the Disconnects that Undermine Your PMO’s Value

Become a key enabler of positive business outcomes

Published By Andy Jordan
Eliminate the Disconnects that Undermine Your PMO’s Value

We talked about how the PMO can be one of your organization’s greatest strategic value drivers. But how do you ensure your PMO is actually equipped and capable of achieving your desired business outcomes?

In this post, we will discuss how you can get the most value from your PMO. And it starts with understanding the purpose they play in your organization.

But first, don’t forget to register for our upcoming live webinar titled “Outcome over Outputs: How the PMO Can Enable Strategic Success.” Learn the actionable steps you need to take to maximize PMO value and drive enterprise strategy. The registration links are below and divided by region:

This webinar is the second part of our Elevate Your PMO series. If you missed the previous webinar on adopting a sponsor’s mindset, you can access it on-demand here.

Understanding the Purpose of Your PMO

You want your PMO’s value to be recognized and appreciated throughout the organization, especially by leadership. More importantly, you want to ensure the PMO is equipped to deliver more than just objectives – you want them to deliver positive business outcomes.

How do you achieve this?

Start by asking yourself, “Why does your PMO exist?”

If you asked a dozen people this question, there’s a good chance you’d get a dozen different answers.

There’s been confusion about the purpose and function of PMOs for as long as PMOs have existed. And if there’s confusion among your stakeholders, project managers, and even within the PMO itself, there’s bound to be misalignment on what the PMO is expected to achieve.

The answer to the question above is pretty straightforward. The PMO exists to deliver value to the organization – just like every other department.

Moreover, the PMO must provide more benefits than it costs the business to operate it.

Sounds simple enough. But how does one define value in this context?

Looking Deeper at PMO Value

Here’s where things get challenging. Often, there’s a lack of clarity over what constitutes value. If you asked different people to define PMO value, you’d likely get different answers. But again, the answer to the question above doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Think of it this way.

When your organization wants or needs something, leaders approve projects that fulfill that desire. Examples of those needs include:

  • More revenue, increased profit, and greater market share that comes from the project
  • Cost control and risk reduction from implementing a new operational system

There could be a thousand reasons why your company wants to launch projects to achieve a specific goal. The important part to remember is that PMOs are responsible for creating and maintaining an environment that ensures project success. They need to consistently achieve those desired business outcomes.

Ultimately, that is the PMO’s value – the ability to make your business goals a reality.

Eliminate the disconnect by adopting an outcome-driven approach

You can turn your PMO into a value-driving powerhouse by focusing on the desired outcomes.

Too many PMOs approach project delivery and success with an overly tactical mindset. They improve the projects’ ability to deliver outputs – the products, systems, processes, and so on.

Outputs may appear important at the time, but they aren’t what drives value. No executive will celebrate being on time, scope, and budget if the project fails to meet your business goals.

For this reason, the PMO should also help project managers and teams recognize the importance of outcomes rather than outputs. This will ensure all project work aligns with your organization’s strategic priorities.

  • Internal users get systems, processes, and ways of working that drive value
  • Customers get the products and services they want
  • Business leaders finally see what it means to have a PMO as a strategic value driver

When your PMO prioritizes outcomes over outputs, they deliver the best benefits to the organization. 

Putting It All Together

You want to get the most out of your PMO. The first step in accomplishing that is to ensure everyone has the same, correct understanding of what PMO value delivery looks like.

When the business leaders who approve, fund, and define the PMO’s role agree that its purpose is driving business outcomes, you can identify goals and objectives that support that purpose. When the PMO recognizes the importance of enabling outcomes, they spend less time on governance, status reporting, and process compliance. In other words, they stop focusing solely on the tactical side of things.

Learn how to make the shift. Join me and Dave Blumhorst to learn how your PMO can transition to becoming an outcome-focused entity that drives value across your enterprise.

 Register for our upcoming live webinar titled “Outcomes over Outputs” on Wednesday, April 10th, at 12:00 PM CT.

We also have a special live webinar Tuesday, April 23rd, 4:00 PM CEST for EMEA registrants. Visit here to sign up for that version of our live webinar.

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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.