September 16 2020 at 02:00PM
What Executives Expect from PMO
I have recently participated in a remarkably interesting discussion panel organized by conference pmoimpactsummit.com. The topic was very relevant to Today’s discussion going around the globe and social media on the PMO role - What Your Executives Wish You Knew. That discussion panel and my experience drove me to put some personal perspective on the subject.
The overall agreement from discussion and myself is (in one sentence):
Executives want PMO plays on the same level as executives
But what does this mean? Let's look at this in more detail below.
Projects in organizations are set because the company wants to execute its strategy. And projects are a way to deliver that strategy. Executives want PMO to understand very well the strategy and reasoning of how each project supports it. It gets to this level that if PMO feels a specific project does not realize strategy and will be just a waste of money and resources, they expect PMO makes this clear to them. This means PMO knows strategy and translates this for the project level.
“Executives wants PMO to understand and translate company strategy into projects”
If strategy changes, PMO is expected to align as soon as possible. In a sense review portfolio in how projects accommodate new strategy. Which one to close, where to invest more, what to change – project/portfolio wise.
PMO is a translator and drive of current strategy into projects.
PMO is expected to take charge of project delivery and output. This is what executives want. They perceive PMO as professionals who help to drive projects to success and deliver value and increase ROI.
It is no longer we PMO are just a governance body, but them, (e.g projects) have to deliver. All are on the same boat.
Executives expect projects are transparent on the status and potential issues. They don’t want surprises. This is what they have PMO to make sure we know where we are. Of course, the question is how much transparency is needed - more transparency more governance, and more overhead, which is not welcomed at the end.
PMO has to provide confidence at any given point in time we know where we are.
No one likes escalations and hard decisions on projects. Executives even like it less.
PMO is expected to make enough to identify risks and help to manage it across projects. Not for each individual project but more as a portfolio, but also to facilitate project level risk management.
What executives don’t expect from PMO?
Well, I don’t know, but I know PMO should not expect from executives. We should not expect they know what Project Management office is and what it technically, meaning: methods, governance details, templates, all project-related KPIs, and language we use every day. They don't care about those details.
This is PMO who has to talk the executive’s language to them. Not vice versa. There is more for sure and not all executives have the same expectations.
Please comment below what is your view on your experience what executives expect from PMO.
Note and Disclaimer: The author of this Blog post is Marek Rudnicki. He is the guest author of PMI.hu. The writing reflects the author's own professional opinion, findings, and conclusions, which do not necessarily agree with the position of PMI Budapest, Hungarian Chapter, and cannot be considered as an official recommendation, resolution, or opinion of PMI Budapest. The copyright and publication rights of the writing belong to the original author.