Project Portfolio Management

How to Align Projects Management with Your Business Strategy

It may seem that aligning project management with a business strategy is as simple as looking left. But as Moira Alexander writes for, it’s time for the PMO to look up from its programs and project-specific outcomes and to take in the big picture of the business. With their hands firmly on the steering wheel of project portfolio management, PMOs need to stay aligned with the road of business objectives, or risk colliding with the following obstacles:

PMO Obstacles

  1. Ambiguity
  2. Underutilized Resources
  3. Low Performance / High Cost
  4. Declining Success Rates

When a company’s strategic resources are diverted into project-specific goals, you have a PMO that is not in touch with what senior executives want, and this can lead to declining project success rates overall. Within a silo-like business unit formation, the PMO is potentially locked away from achieving company-wide objectives.

The truth is that the cost of the PMO is steadily increasing, but the value reaped from the PMO by the company remains constant, while project success rates are actually in decline. The signal is clear: this is a poor use of human / financial resources that needs to be corrected, starting at the executive level:

Ultimately, companies may need to consider transitioning from a traditional business unit PMO model to an enterprise project management office (EPMO) that focuses all efforts on executing projects in alignment with overall business strategy.

Enter the EPMO

The stats for what the EPMO can do, courtesy of PMI, tell all:

  • Portfolio Reporting Services +20%
  • Strategic Alignment Services +23%
  • Confirmation of Strategic Priorities +10%
  • Project Alignment with Strategic Objectives +10%

The transition to an EPMO will require several phases that executives should be mindful of. Firstly, a planning and initiation phase will establish a bridge from the traditional PMO. This will need to be followed up by a monitoring phase to cement dialogue between the business and the EPMO. Moving forward, it will be essential to quantify the performance of the EPMO to establish consistent value and business alignment.

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