A third of the way through 2016! Are you two-thirds away from the perfect Project Management Office? - Stoneseed
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A third of the way through 2016! Are you two-thirds away from the perfect Project Management Office?


As we enter May it has just struck me - we're a third of the way through 2016!

So ... Are you two-thirds away from having the perfect PMO? The one that you envisaged when you made those New Year resolutions maybe? Or did work get in the way?

It's OK if you got so busy working on Projects that you didn't have time to work on your modus operandi but it can cause problems downstream. Taking some time out now to sharpen the saw makes you work more efficiently in the future so it's a good investment. With that in mind, as we’re a third of the way through 2016 you have eight months left to get your PMO into shape.

Here's eight great things that you can do that will help. Pick one a month to attend to or commit to make them all daily habits over the next two-thirds of the year and you'll start 2017 with a world-beating PMO.

1 - May - Knock down some department walls.

Breaking down a few silos may be one of the most effective things you do this year. Make new interdepartmental relationships and develop existing ones, find out what makes each department tick and how they may benefit from you and your team.

Most importantly, integrate your PMO with every part of the business - make yourself an indispensable part of the machine.

According to the Association for Project Management half of all Project Management Offices close within 3 years - the PMOs that have made themselves a part of the DNA of their organisation stand a greater chance of survival.

Get networking internally!

2 - June – Become a Data Junkie

Recruit one, hire one, buy in data analysis 'as a Service' - however you do it - get yourself a data junkie!

Is your PMO is effectively harnessing the data from all that reporting that you do? Probably not. That data is spun gold for the effective PMO.

As PPM data increases, so does the value you can add to business strategy through delivery of information that doesn’t just aid decision making - it drives it!

Check out this blog to read more about my vision for business IT.

3 - July - Make Methodology A Science

I just wrote a blog for my CIO.com column about methodology.

Biology, psychology, pathology ... most 'ologies' are considered to be a science but in Project Management circles, too often, ‘method-ology’ isn’t. it's a way of describing 'how we do things'. We either do 'agile' or 'waterfall' and we make the project fit how we do things.

In other branches of science, it's different. Do you remember science class at school? Each experiment would have a different method and crucially a different result.

Similarly, I recommend a hybrid of methodologies that suit the specific needs and business case of individual projects. Start applying the scientific 'ology' part of 'methodology' when you consider how you will approach a project and you will start to see better results.

4 - August - Gap Analysis & PMO Assessment

Traditionally the holiday month for many organisations. While they're kicking back you're kicking on with a Project Management Office Assessment.

Having a third party assess your PMO can help refocus and refine or redesign your project management capabilities. It can improve project prioritisation and help maintain best practice, governance and resource management.

Gap analysis and PMO assessment should become a routine habit for your PMO.

5 - September - Get The Right Tools For The Job

As a natural result of PMO assessment, you may realise that you're working with tools that aren't fit for purpose.

For example, are you still using Microsoft Excel for data analysis? In a world of many PPM software tools that address specific Project Management needs you could missing out.

The wrong tools can reduce your potential effectiveness. Even losing a few percent off your potential could be the margin between success and failure or the difference between providing information that's key to strategic decision making and information that leads to flawed business planning.

6 - October - Laser Focus On Business Case Alignment

I wrote recently about how I think Project Management ‘know-how’ must evolve into ‘know-why’. This was prompted by a worrying statistic that over three-quarters of Project Managers (76%) questioned whether what they do is actually aligned to business objectives at all.

Aligning IT with business strategy is not a new concept. Not aligning IT to business objectives is the quickest way to guarantee to fail to provide an effective return on your investment. Good luck explaining that to the board.

Instead, spend October really figuring where you can add most business value and focus the majority of your effort there.

7 - November - You Apply Metrics To What You Do ... Now Apply Metrics To 'How' You Do It

You use metrics as part of the process of governance and reporting on projects but when it comes to justifying their existence or arguing for extra resources lots of PMOs lack the data to back up their case.

That often quoted statistic that 75% of IT projects fail may be hotly disputed within the industry, but rates of failure remained high year after year, survey after survey. Many PMs have found that by adjusting the metrics of projects they have got a better handle on progress, more control, and greater transparency.

I think by applying similar metrics to PMO performance in general - you'll get some amazing results back and that's great - because you'll need them next month.

8 - December – It’s Time To Elevate Project Management To The ‘C-Suite’

By December you will have produced some great results and be well on your way to that utopian Project Management Office - make sure that you share the good news across those great relationships you brokered when you tore down the silos in May. Those metrics you finalised last month will give you some quantifiable data that shows just how key your PMO is to the business.

So key, in fact, that surely the Project Management function should be elevated to the ‘C-suite’... What a fabulous Christmas present to your business a Chief Project Officer would be!

In his brilliant CIO.com blog, "Top 5 predictions for project management in 2016", Brad Egeland writes, "In the late 1980's many technical experts and business leaders were suggesting that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) would be the next critical C-level position in organizations. It happened ... My prediction for the next big C-level position to emerge is the CPO."

I wrote about the rise of the CPO back in January. Take a look. 


What a year 2016 turned out to be and it was all thanks to what you did in the final two-thirds!

A third of the way into the year - Go get the PMO you deserve!

Contact us to learn more about how Stoneseed's Enterprise PMO Assessment can improve you improve your project performance.

Find out more about Project Management as a Service from Stoneseed


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