Continuous improvement efforts for project management have thus far been marginal, but a major sea change is underway. A noteworthy post by Harold Kerzner for B2C spotlights the migration project management is making to the senior business levels of the organization. By joining forces with business analytics, project management has the potential to become a core strategic competency where the traditional project lifecycle is expanded to include the investment lifecycle.
Need for a Portfolio PMO
There is a growing need for a specialized portfolio PMO to supersede the role of the traditional PMO. This is leading to new metrics, new dashboard displays, and the expansion of stakeholder relations management. With this novel role for the PMO comes a different perspective on value. To this end, value categories for projects are better reflected by the “four cornerstones of project success”:
- Financial Values
- Internal Values
- Future Values
- Customer-Related Values
Categories for value and tracking metrics (micro metrics) are then defined within the four cornerstones, making the change from traditional PMO to portfolio PMO a matter of trading tactical objectives for strategic ones.
From Project to Investment Lifecycles
Project lifecycle phases are added when value management and benefits realization are taken into account, effectively transforming the project lifecycle into an investment lifecycle. Kerzner elaborates on how the addition of both the idea generation and project planning phases impact the role of the project manager. He lays out a useful table that compares how metrics are perceived by PMs, customers, and consumers along the path to product delivery.
In all, there is a strong case for PMs to understand the rationale, assumptions, constraints, and risks behind each project. In this form, the traditional PMO takes on the role of project PMO, departing from a career path position to become a valuable strategic competency designed to fit the broader business demands of the investment lifecycle.