How to implement a project management office?

The task of creating an office that will help the Project Managers, assist them with their responsilibities, providing them with the tools, delivering knowledge transfer, and communicate efficiently the information gathered, sounds like the task of a team.

It requires a team that can be focused on communication.
Communication is the root cause of 90% of the issues in project management.
Just ask around. Every PMP trainer will tell you this.

So communication is not something you only solve with a software platform, sometimes, it involves developing a common language, a common understanding of what need when say things like "I need you to validate this", or how we trace risks, or how we escalate an issue within the organization.

Train your Project Managers

Project Management Training is essential to developing a shared understanding of what is required from the stakeholders involved, and how to communicate it. PMP certification courses are available worldwide and intitutions like https://pmaspire.com/pmp-certification/ can deliver courses and exam simulators to help you acquire these capabilities.

Establish a Project Management Office, the PMO

Initiating an office that can be a home for your PMs, your Project Managers, is key in making the values feel like part of the culture. Collaboration is essential, and lessons learnt sre seldom shared if there's no one that will make good use of it. A culture of continuous improvement is essential for growing as an organization, and a PMO is the right way of pushing collaboration between departments.

When projects and objectives are shared, objectively, then all departments find a reason to collaborate and have their own project shine on weekly reports.

Establishing and office requires objectives and agreed and approved practices. Get a sponsor for your PMO and start providing them with a hollistic view. 

It could start with generating a weekly report that every manager can read before attending their monday executive meetings and use the time for strategic actions and not for status sharing. Sometimes, setting up such an organization and providing the cultural push requires for an external transformation provider like ODIN or many other consultancy firms. 

We believe that setting up a PMO is a requirement of Organizational Design Innovation.

Start creating portfolios and programs

Once you start producing information related to work performance execution, you will need to give it a label so that you know what strategies are advancing and which are not. Portfolios and programs, apart from enhancing the application of governance, also help in focusing on the reasons driving the initiatives.

If your project management system allows for multidimensionality, like wrike does, then it will be easy to implement, as projects can sometimes belong to more than one initiative, and keeping these updated should not be a parallel work of reporting status. 


Gather the right metrics and build a benchmarking model

Your sponsors will want to know how their strateic actions are impacting the baseline, but they will also want to know how good they are getting at managing projects now that they have implemented an office dedicated to improving the practices behind project implementation.

Once you have enough data on project execution you can start using comparison baselines across similar projects. Your metrics could be based on Scope, Time and Cost, or could be internal measures of success. The important thing is that it can be used across all projects with the same definition.

Acquire the tools to optimize portfolio value

Maybe your organization already has a project management system fully capable of adapting to any organization, like Wrike, or industry specific like Jira, but whichever tool you use it needs to allow for co-creation, collaboration, and a hollistic view.

Once you are capable of benchmarking your projects, and understanding how they are advancing your strategy, you will be able to make strategic desicions. 


Optimize

Once a maturity level has been achieved, you can use the best practices and control mechanisms you have been able to implement and start receiving the fruits of good process definitions.

Optimization in process management can only happen when every stakeholder is aware of the status of their deliverables, when the Sponsors and Project Team Members are aligned, and when the project health is maintained by the values embedded on the organization and the practices that sustain it.

If you have reached this level of development, then we could talk about how to incorporate ML and AI into your project management techniques so as to monitor and act on possible scenarios.

Project management is key for growth because there is no such thing as Business As Usual anymore.
If you find yourself needing assistance for setting up a culture of collaboration, get in touch with us at pmo@odinideas.com