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The Project Management Office: In Sync With Strategy

The project management office continues to grow in both use and ability. With more and more organizations depending on the PMO to help achieve goals and align projects to the business, it’s no surprise that there has been a 36% jump in organizations that use PMOs since 2000. This pdf from the project management institute highlights just some of the reasons that a PMO can help align projects with overall business strategy – and also some of the challenges with starting a new PMO. For instance, consider this section of the pdf where Michael Cooch of PricewaterhouseCoopers discusses why some PMOs fail: Mr. Cooch estimates half of PMOs fail on their first attempt because they do not align with organizational strategy. For instance, a company might set up its PMO success criteria around budget, when the organization’s overall focus is innovation. At IT giant Google, for example, delivering cost effective and timely projects is important, but not as important as coming up with cutting-edge thought leadership. “The PMO has to have an environment where ideas can be created,” he says. Sometimes that means the budget and schedule are lower priorities. In order to avoid some of the difficulties associated with a new PMO, Cooch suggests a few things. First, attempt to collaborate more than police: this supports understanding and longevity of the PMO. Also secure executive buy-in as much as possible to make sure that you have the highest levels of support. On the opposite side, amke sure that team members recognize how important they are to the PMO and how important the PMO is to the rest of the organization.

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