Top PPM PMO Initiatives of 2020

The continued transformation of PPM/PMO Organizations in 2020 coupled with the disruptions caused by Covid-19 is causing a shift in what Project Management organizations are currently doing or what they are expected to do in the next year.  Below are those top four initiatives:

1.Lead Organizational Change

Leading Organization Change is a key component in 2020 as digital transformation is changing the PMO Mandate.  As you can see in the table below, Project Management Offices (PMOs) are maturing into Enterprise PMOs with Project and Portfolio Management capabilities and eventually into Strategy Realization Offices.  Strategy Realization Offices prioritize strategic investments while ensuring the organization has sufficient resources deliver the work.  In the traditional model, it was enough to just execute Project Management effectively following rigid processes. However, the Strategy Realization Office demonstrates its value by doing the right projects at the right time in the right way. 

2.Deliver Strategic Programs

Traditionally, you had projects with programs being groups of related projects being managed together in order to get better executive visibility and program-level reporting.  One of the weaknesses of the traditional PMO mandate is the propensity to manage projects in a silo.  This causes projects to be led vertically within a particular department that may or may not have impacts to other business units.  The new PMO mandate is one of projects being managed horizontally throughout multiple business units with multiple interdependencies.  With increasing complexity in projects, the risk of failure also increases.  However, if the PMO is organized effectively, it can show increased value through efficient reporting and tracking of investments.  Digital Transformation is creating the demand to manage these large programs with multiple interdependencies and multiple disruptive influences throughout the organization. 

3.Optimize Resource Demand for Strategic Programs

When speaking with PMO Leaders, the ability to manage demand for new programs while having increased cost pressures and less resource capacity has been the most common topic of discussion.  Strategic-level resource planning is becoming more prevalent as these large initiatives underway are taking up most of the PMO capacity without the ability to add additional headcount.  Cross-training is a key as the workforce goes from being specialists to having expertise across multiple functions.  You are seeing EPMOs developing tools such as a skills inventory matrix to better align their capabilities to the demands of the business.  The ability to manage resources effectively is a primary driver for many organizations looking at implementing Enterprise PPM Tools. 

4.Establish Enterprise- Level Reporting

Another area of “heartburn” for IT and Business Leaders is the ability to get relevant information about projects, programs, portfolios and products that is factual and provides value.  It is important to develop reports and dashboards that are actually read and used as a decision tool.  The days when a Project Manager submitted a five-page weekly narrative status report are over as executives demand to see information in a simple but valuable dashboard format.  In addition, with waterfall being replaced by agile or hybrid agile, the information being reported on is different.  One of the biggest reason’s companies are investing in PPM Tools is to get that level of reporting that shows everything relevant in a one pager that can be at the Portfolio, Program and Projects levels. 


James Proctor, Managing Partner

[email protected]

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