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The Expanding Strategic Potential of PMOs in 2017

PMI’s Pulse of the Profession is a page-turner every year, with insights useful to people at all levels and types of involvement in project management. It can be particularly useful to PMO leaders looking to see where they stand and where they can strive to improve. Of the 3,234 global professionals surveyed, here is the data on PMOs and EPMOs.

The Facts

In 2007, 61 percent of organizations had PMOs, compared to 71 percent today. Half of organizations with a PMO also have an EPMO. PMOs and EPMOs help establish procedures for identifying benefits, and monitoring progress throughout the project life cycle and beyond. Where strategically aligned EPMOs exist, 33 percent fewer project failures occur and 38 percent more projects meet their goals.

Digging deeper into the numbers, 62 percent of PMOs are department-specific, regional, or divisional. Of these PMOs, 38 percent consider themselves highly aligned with organizational strategy, 50 percent grade themselves medium, and a meager 12 percent score themselves low. The stats for EPMOs are nearly identical with regard to alignment.

Fifty-eight percent of EPMOs believe they are primarily focused on business strategy, and 40 percent of the rest of PMOs are focused on business strategy. The other PMOs and EPMOs are primarily focused on tactics or operations at the moment. These numbers could stand to improve but are not unhealthy.

PMOs and EPMOs fulfill many different roles for their organizations. Here is a sampling, in order:

  • Establish and monitor project success metrics: 79% of PMOs, 76% of EPMOs
  • Project management standardization: 65% of PMOs, 73% of EPMOs
  • Help develop core project management competencies/maturity: 55% of PMOs, 63% of EPMOs
  • Program management: 56% of PMOs, 54% of EPMOs
  • Training: 44% of PMOs, 53% of EPMOs
  • Portfolio management: 42 percent of PMOs, 47 percent of EPMOs

Only 21 percent of organizations have standardized project management practices used company-wide, but that is better than the 7 percent who have no standards at all. Perhaps improving these numbers should be the next great undertaking of PMOs and EPMOs. After all, when there is a shared language, there is shared understanding.

You can view the full report here: http://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/thought-leadership/pulse/pulse-of-the-profession-2017.pdf

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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One comment

  1. The use of standardized project management practices improves the reporting, delivery and quality of projects. Well defined processes takes into consideration the different types of projects. T

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