Project Management Office Success Factors

January 25, 2018


Project management maturity is a journey – observed to be true whether you are a big or medium or small enterprise irrespective of whether you are in engineering, manufacturing, construction, technology, healthcare, public utility or any other industry. Organizations continue to invest in search of the ideal – business excellence!
On the journey to enhancing project management maturity, companies look to various enablers that could include some of the following.

  • Comprehensive process mapping
  • Business process standardization
  • Process analysis – value adding vs. non-value adding
  • Process improvement through Six Sigma approach
  • Use of automation tools and so on.

On the other side, organizations have also invested in a PMO (Project Management Office or Program Management Office or Portfolio Management Office). The implementation of a PMO varies with the organization. PMOs are largely driven by the challenges each firm wants to accomplish through a central department chartered to act as a project management catalyst and change driver.
The specific responsibilities of PMOs could range from process definition, standardization, portfolio analysis & recommendations, benefits monitoring, centralized resource management, information repository, risks & issues analysis, project reporting, selection of tools, and many more.
The business case for PMOs caught the fancy of organizations worldwide. In no time, globally, PMOs became very popular to fix project management maturity issues – this came with high expectations too!
It is also true that many of these PMOs became very successful in significantly transforming the project management landscape. It went to such an extent that they were wielding more power than project managers!

Why not?
They were able to deliver value across the organizational spectrum. The other side of the PMO story does not paint a rosy picture. For reasons beyond the scope this article, some PMOs failed to deliver value as they focused more at the operational level such as data collection, reporting, escalations – in general, project administration support.
The project management world has seen radical changes in the way the industries had to deliver the new-age programs and projects with levels of complexity, team structures, and stakeholder expectations unheard of before. The PMOs tried their best to cope with the new reality, but most of them could not sustain the onslaught of a very different business scenario.
PMOs that were so far successful in implementing project management methodologies and processes suddenly realized that different programs and projects needed a different approach and that a ‘one-size fits all’ would no longer work.

On the other hand, technology firms unleashed a different model of managing projects – the agile way!
The PMOs found it extremely hard to address methodologies that are flexible, empowering rather than restricting, and still deliver value – day after day, every day. As PMOs could not cope with these radical industry shifts, they started losing their relevance.
Does it mean that it is the end of the road for PMOs?

The answer is ‘no’!
PMOs could still deliver significant business value provided organizations take a different path to empower and support them.
The question is ‘how’?

The key to making your PMOs successful and thereby your organization is to equip them with a technological solution that could make them nimble, flexible, and more proactive than ever. This implies that PMOs should have access to a solution that helps them configure project management approaches along with easy-to-create-and-modify templates based on complexity, stakeholder needs, and driven by analytics. In the process, you have transformed your PMO!
Your PMO is no longer a ‘data collector and disseminator’ but a ‘business decision enabler.’

The all-important question is – are you ready for this shift?
If yes, TouchBase® could be your organizational alchemist!

Gulit Upadhyay


This article was provided by Gulit Upadhyay, Sr. Digital Marketer at, a company dedicated to providing Solar and EPC project management software so that you can achieve business excellence.