Leading projects is difficult during the best of times – the current pandemic surely has made the thing more challenging. How, then, can an organization assure its projects’ success, from scratch to completion, during these difficult times? Short answer: PMOs.
Although PMOs are often perceived as an unnecessary cost, they have a massive impact on a business’ stability and continuity when correctly deployed, especially amid crisis like the one we’re currently facing.
But what is a PMO? And what are the main benefits of using one within your organization?
First, let us explalin briefly…
What is a PMO?
The PMO – Project Management Office – is an internal or external department that sets, handles and maintains the methods and requirements by which projects are managed within an organization. Having a PMO means adopting a clear, standardized approach to project management.
PMO members provide operational and strategic support for all projects through resource management and cross-project knowledge, in order to increase efficiency and quality assurance.
What are the main advantages of PMOs?
Let’s discuss just 5 of the biggest pay offs a PMO can bring to an organization:
1. Increased Accuracy
Generally, it is struggling to foretell what and how much an organization will spend until projects completion. The inability to correctly evaluate the expenses and the risk often lead to project failure, and consequently resource waste.
With proper planning and overseeing, PMOs boost the accuracy of projects in terms of the resources, budget, and schedule associated with them. By being predictable, the projects are less likely to fail and, on the other hand, the project teams are more likely to be consistent. On the long run, accuracy leads to business overall control and development.
2. Resource Savings
When accuracy comes into the equation, resource savings are definite. By being more accurate from the beginning through to the end of projects, the chances that changes will be required are reduced significantly. This is relevant because changes within projects means spending money outside of the budget. When budgetary issues are identified as early as possible in a project, efficiency and accountability within teams are encouraged, along with a healthy communication with the customer.
Also, a PMO can provide consistent support on resourcing issues. For example, by examining the skills of the project managers available, the PMO can allocate the ideal project manager to the ideal project. It is clear that resource planning across teams can save costs.
Reports say that an effective PMO can ensure up to 35%-40% savings.
3. Order in projects’ organization
Without a PMO, stuff tends to get a bit messy when it comes to organization. It is hard to almost impossible to maintain the same line of the way tasks are done within several projects, and this is natural because each project manager has its own way of doing things.
A PMO, instead, assures improvement in project management expertise and uniformity across a project team. By collecting and analysing data, reporting, template-making and communication, PMO members develop and enforce standards across the board. Furthermore, they ensure that those standards are respected throughout all projects.
The benefit of having data based on hard facts ensures transparency and secures buy in of stakeholders, thus reducing frictions within organizations.
4. ‘On-time, on-budget’ delivery
Failing to deliver key projects and services can have detrimental impacts on a projects’ stakeholders. This is likely to happen especially when several large sized projects are running at the same time, because of the difficulty in keeping track of them.
A PMO offers solutions and productivity hacks which generally speed up project timelines. Also, with the use of an adequate PM software which provides cost estimation tools, is more easily to fix down-to-earth budgets and to stay within them during projects.
5. Helping teams adjust to remote work
The coronavirus pandemic forced many organizations to transition to a remote workforce. While this came with benefits like cost savings, there are significant downsides too. For example, 88% of remote workers face miscommunications with other team members or inconsistent leadership, so a lot of project management errrors are likely to occur.
But the help of a PMO, on the other hand, which also imply using a fit-to-needs PM software, project management methodologies and the skills of a project management professional, leads to more united remote workforce and increased project success rates.
These being said, we think that a PMO is a must these days not only to assure a business continuity, but also its flourishment during the present tough times. In order to achieve these, though, a PMO should be introduced into an organization in a manner that will balance the existing structure of it.
So what would mean introducing a PMO into your organization? Stay tuned for our next article to find out the answer…