Why a Project/Programme Management Office? Because Your Customers Will Love You, That's Why

Ian Needs

When making the case for implementation of a project/programme management office (PMO) that provides better reporting, standardises processes that were once willy-nilly, and boost project profitability overall, it’s perfectly natural to lead with the internal benefits. Resources are used more efficiently. Projects are chosen with strategy and impact on business performance in mind. But in the end, why do we really want to hard-wire the project governance process? Who are we really doing all this for? Let’s consider the customer-centric side argument for your PMO.

This is no way suggesting that you shouldn’t consider all aspects of ROI, but merely to highlight that the customer-side benefits are truly compelling in and of themselves. By helping your organisation develop project governance standards that enable repeatable successes, better resource usage and more projects coming in on time, you’re a lap ahead in creating a customer (and even partner) satisfaction powerhouse.

Three Customer Satisfaction Benefits of the Well-Run PMO

  • Better project delivery means higher customer satisfaction and confidence. Running projects with a high-performing PMO means more projects come in on time, on budget and with their objectives achieved. There’s no better argument for repeat business than being the company that consistently does what they say they can do, does it when they agree to have it done, and hits the budget marks.
  • Higher customer trust and support means better collaboration and more predictable results. Consistently executing better project delivery and earning customer trust creates a virtuous cycle of collaborative harmony. With your team delivering like a well-oiled machine, your customers learn depend on your rhythm, gain confidence from your credibility, and become more responsive to your requests. This, in turn, creates even more project success.
  • Improved performance and confidence from vendors and third parties. Because your PMO has improved your reporting standards and tactical project management, vendors and third parties know where they stand and share your perspective of the project landscape. This means less confusion, less milestones missed, and less panic. Panic is contagious. But by the same token, so is confidence. These intangibles shouldn’t be undervalued with vendors whose performance is critical to the project overall.

While a good PMO excels at creating the reporting standards that make your company a font of trusted project information, one of the biggest benefits can’t be quantified: The likelihood that your client-side contact will spread the word with his or her colleagues and superiors about how well you ran the project. The numbers are good, but building confidence and reputation around your name makes your participation in the next project more of a foregone conclusion and less a matter of argument and analysis. At the end of the day, happy customers equal recurring profit. That alone is enough to justify a PMO.