Three Ways to Transform Your PMO Into a Strategic Powerhouse

Author: David Hall

It’s proven that managing portfolios better creates cost efficiencies and helps companies complete more projects to specifications and to budget requirements. Did you know that the other proven benefit of competitive portfolio management is an ability to identify and move quickly on the most strategic projects?

The PMI Institute in its recent report, Delivering on Strategy, the Power of Project Portfolio Management describes the correlation between effective portfolio management and advancing the strategy of the company:

“Effective project portfolio management requires a keen understanding of the relationships between strategy development and strategy implementation. The selected portfolio of projects and programmes must collectively advance the organisation. Project portfolio management, often referred to as simply portfolio management, is forward looking. If you can’t see the future of your organisation by looking at your portfolio, you have no chance of getting there.” In my years managing portfolios for forward-thinking IT companies, I have seen it time and again: If the portfolio reflects mostly strategic-based projects, the company is positioned to lead in its segment. If the portfolio is stuffed with “catch-up” infrastructure programmes and unaligned, scattered “next best ideas” then I knew the writing was on the wall for that company’s lack of effectiveness in the marketplace.

Here’s why:

  1.  Transformed Alignment: Of course, you know I believe that KeyedIn Projects solutions enable alignment like never before. I keep saying this because it’s true: Our clients experience almost instant alignment once they are up-and-running. Alignment across the entire project lifecycle means that projects are more often selected and prioritised based on resource capability and financial constraints, yes—but they’re also scored against strategic impact. Once our enhanced reporting function kicks in, every part of the company can work with increased responsiveness and a richer understanding of the potential consequences of every change in project scope—to the portfolio and to the company’s continuing competitive power.
  2. Transformed Visibility: If you possess only snapshots of your portfolio without complete visibility into all of the aggregated resources in the organisation you’re flying blind. To select, prioritise and execute projects with such a limited view will ensure that you will never deliver the highest strategic and tactical business value. If you possess visibility, then your organisation is free to continually add value, improve results and strengthen performance. One of our clients, was able to gain a handle on their rapidly growing, global professional services company only after they gained this visibility.
  3. Transformed Performance: Let’s face it—when you’re prey to overruns and drastically hobbled by poor resource deployment, your PMO isn’t performing the way it should. “Throwing resources at the wall and hoping they’ll stick,” is how I once heard it described. Our solution allows you to clearly see your PMO metrics for the first time. Once your PMO machine is in order, its performance issues fixed—that’s when executives learn to trust you with all of their strategic priorities. You can respond quickly to external and internal changes; eliminate orphan projects, redundant systems and low-value initiatives; and clearly articulate project decisions using a risk vs. rewards lexicon—that places strategy front and center.

There are so many ways we can help you become more strategic. Our client testimonials include great examples as does this “cautionary tale” of a webinar detailing what a non-strategic PMO looks like: The Disturbing Reality of Today’s PMO; or you can check out our industry-specific case studies.

The speed of competitive advantage along agile portfolios; digital-empowered companies; and global professional services delivery continues to accelerate. You have to execute now—and get strategic before your leadership wonders why you’re not the engine they need you to be.