The right focus, the right results
PMOs must be business focused; you have probably heard that, or something similar, in recent years. But what does that really mean? And how does this impact the focus of your business having to adapt and change to shifting environments?
On the topic of economic uncertainty, Global PMO thought leader Andy Jordan, and Planview’s own Dave Blumhorst recently sat down for a webinar on Maximizing PMO Value During Times of Economic Uncertainty to address how businesses can adapt to a market influenced by economic downturn.
Create and Maintain an Integrated Demand Backlog
One of the keys to success that Dave and Andy discussed was the ability to create and maintain an integrated demand backlog – a single list of proposed initiatives, intake requests and so that they can be prioritized, and reprioritized, as needed to ensure that the work being done is aligned with the strategic needs of the business. When all demand is filtered through one intake funnel, controlled by a PMO that is focused on optimizing business performance, it becomes much easier to adjust that intake to align with new or changed priorities.
Prioritize Your Focus on Evolving the Needs of Your Business
Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than simply updating a backlog when strategies shift. That backlog also must ensure appropriate prioritization for mandatory and regulatory work, maintenance initiatives, and ongoing work from previous business periods. But that’s where the business focused PMO comes in – with an understanding of all those variables, of how they align with the evolving needs of the business, and how they are being delivered.
On delivery, PMOs also must ensure they can enable all work structures and methods. An effective PMO must be able to support programs and projects, but also products, value streams, epics, etc. And they must ensure work can be delivered using traditional, agile, hybrid and informal approaches.
Manage Alignment to Ensure That All Funded Investments Align with Strategic Priorities
Another example of what it means for a PMO to be business focused can be described as the following:
- Ensuring that the funded investments align with the strategic priorities
- Work being delivered aligns with those investments
- Benefits being achieved from that work align with the enterprise goals and objectives
This is not too difficult to achieve at the start of a business cycle, however, it is much harder to maintain during all the changes driven by external factors and internal variances. As a result, during periods of economic uncertainty, those impacts affect organizations more often, and usually with more potential disruption.
Prioritize Hiring PMOs That Understand Your Business
PMOS guide executives on the impact of proposed changes, helping to ensure that the impact of decisions are understood. A business focused PMO can also help minimize the disruption that changes cause to project delivery environments and maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of changes and adjustments. And it can help ensure that there is effective collaboration across all departments and functions, driving success for everyone.
A business focused PMO won’t guarantee that an organization succeeds in delivering all of its strategies, but it will provide that organization with a much greater chance of success.
To learn more about the two critical steps that a PMO needs to take, and to discover the other key steps that Dave and Andy discussed, access the webinar recording here.