PMO TrendsProject Management OfficeStrategic Alignment

Reshaping the PMO Role in the Digital Era

Digitization is not just a new tablecloth on an old table. Digitization is a brand new table, and everything needs to match the new décor. In an article for TechTarget, CEB/Gartner’s Matt McWha describes how the PMO will evolve in this new digital setting.

This New Home

McWha finds that most PMOs have been designed to account for consistency, which is good, but designing for speed and flexibility will be more important moving forward. In turn, the business advantages of maintaining a PMO are evolving. Right now, some of the major benefits of PMOs are that they provide a neutral perspective, have good organizational influence, and provide critical insights to stakeholders. McWha says PMOs should leverage these factors to accomplish three new tasks:

  • Orchestrate delivery and team workflows
  • Develop and enable digital talent
  • Support digital transformation

About that first point, McWha writes this:

With its enterprise perspective and stakeholder insight, the PMO is ideally suited to design and facilitate interactions among increasingly diverse types of work and stakeholders. PMOs can play critical roles in promoting the adoption of new delivery practices (e.g., Agile, DevOps) and will need to design the mechanisms for coordination between teams working with different methodologies. This involves spotting and managing interdependencies that can derail ongoing work and reducing the amount of effort required for interaction between teams, other governance functions and third parties.

PMOs should also encourage increased product ownership and provide specific, digital-oriented learning opportunities for project management staff. And when sufficiently strategically aligned, the PMO will be able to assist with enterprise-level capital allocation and measuring performance of the product line.

The most difficult trick for PMOs will be to figure out which of its current governance functions are vital and which ones are just getting in the way of faster, more efficient development. For some additional thoughts toward that end, you can view the original article here:

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