I recently watched one of Gartner‘s analyst, Mbula Schoen, present some best practices of the PMO at the recent Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit (2016).

Here are a couple of takeaways.

Ensure a good launch

Firstly, when announcing your PMO to all of your stakeholders, make sure you include the intended purpose of the PMO and a list of the services which will be provided .

In addition, I would add:

The best PMO fit

Secondly, when deciding on the type of PMO, the presenter states:

The best type of PMO is the one that is tailored to support organizational needs at a level the organization can embrace and benefit from

So how do you establish these “organization needs”?

Well it’s as easy as asking your stakeholders – all of them. This means that not only do you need to understand what the management wants (actionable data which to base decisions on), but also what the rest of the organization can supply.

It would be a good idea if you could remember that you will need to perform this same process regularly, so any tools you use or documents you create, should keep time/date specific text to a minimum.

So rather than saying “How well would you rate the PMO’s ability to <pick a service and put here> in 2016?” I suggest “How well would you rate the PMO’s ability to <pick a service and put here> this past 6 months?”

How about the maturity level of the organization?

Gartner has tool called Program and Portfolio Management Maturity Model which is effective, but it may be overkill for some organizations. Instead, a facilitated workshop which includes the key players in the organization – not just management – held over a few sessions could a simpler approach. My experience is, that most people know what the organization will or will not be able to absorb and where the problem areas are.

Once the PMO is running, then the model could be introduced slowly to refine the services and provide input to other activities to lift the organization to the appropriate level.

 “Too bureaucratic”

Finally, some other insights from their research which I’m sure many of you can recognize:

… and several others I will cover in upcoming articles including:

By the way, in case you didn’t get a chance to attend, you can watch this one and others at www.gartnereventsondemand.com.

Excerpt from full report here: https://www.gartner.com/binaries/content/assets/events/keywords/ppm/ppmit9/gartner_program-and-portfolio-management-leadership-vision-for-2017.pdf

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