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Project management offices could be more effective

Anuradha Shukla | July 12, 2011
ESI International survey indicates areas where PMOs need to step up their game

Many organisations do not operate their Project/Programme Management Office (PMO) as effectively as they could, according to an ESI study, 'The Global State of the PMO: Its Value, Effectiveness and Role as the Hub of Training'.

Although 71 percent of non-PMO project staff surveyed in Singapore said the PMOs' involvement improved the effectiveness and availability of training, the situation is different for other parts of the world.

About 82 per cent of organisations worldwide said they have a PMO and more than half of these do not measure PMO effectiveness.

Report shows that PMOs have matured, and today enterprises are questioning the value of these offices.

Also, organisations want to know PMOs' ability to measure effectiveness and their role in growing PM capabilities through effective training.

"The large majority of organisations who have PMOs indicate that they understand the advantages that PMOs can offer," said J. LeRoy Ward, PMP, PgMP, executive vice president, product strategy and management, ESI International. "The results of ESI's global survey indicate numerous areas where PMOs currently need to step up their game to demonstrate the impact of those advantages, including measurement, effect on career progression and their strategic role in the organisation."

Questioning PMO value

Fifty-seven percent of Singaporean PMOs said they formally report on and measure their own effectiveness compared to the global mean at 52 percent.

About 60 percent of respondents claimed that their PMO's value has been questioned and 76 percent of non-PMO staff said their organisation either does not measure or they do not know whether it measures PMO effectiveness.

Forty percent of respondents said their PMO is operating to a fair or poor extent; 72 percent agree the PMO is strongest in conveying methodologies and other PM 'hard' skills; and 35 percent agree that the PMO is weakest in reviewing the effectiveness of training and its impact on project and programme performance.

The measurement of training impact is more common in the Asia Pacific region, with only 18 percent reporting that they do not measure training impact.

Only 20 percent of respondents said they engage in portfolio management, and 15 percent said they track return on investment and benefits realisation.

"PMOs are clearly established in the organisation," said Ward. "However, they have only scratched the surface in reaching their full potential."

 

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