This week I headed over to Arsenal football ground for the Project Controls Expo. It's primarily aimed at people who work in the heavier project management industries like construction, manufacturing, utilities, oil & gas etc. As the name suggests it is all about project controls - planning, scheduling and the like.
I decided to pop in and see what the Expo would be like for PMO people (great if you're working in these industries and these types of roles). Whilst there I decided to listen to a presentation from Sellafield called 'Agile and Earned Value'. I initially thought, Sellafield and Agile?? Gawd this could easily be Mr Burns' Springfield Nuclear Power Plant if Agile is being used! Luckily they are just using Agile for some of their software related projects, not for reactor building!!
I wanted to include a few highlights here and some of the slides because I know some PMOs are becoming more actively engaged in supporting Agile projects in their organisation. The earned value aspect of Agile projects could be one way the PMO could monitor these projects.
Stephen Jones, Programme Lead at Sellafield and Chairman of the APM PMC SIG carried out the presentation, he has also written a whitepaper to support it.
We start off with some individual project reporting and the common reports you are likely to create. We spent some time looking at some examples and actually reading those, understanding what the graphs are actually telling us. Most of these reports are based on SCRUM so you'll find mentioned here burndowns, velocity, burnups etc
The second part of the session turned to the reporting and metrics that happen at the portfolio and more strategic levels. We looked at strategy and investment funding; reporting at a portfolio level and looked at OKRs - which are commonly used in scaled agile. The session also touched on value streams.
Balanced Scorecards are used by organisations to help develop their strategies and measure how effective those strategies are. For an in-depth look, you can head over to the Balanced Scorecard Institute.
In this article, we take a look at how a balanced scorecard approach was utilised by a PMO within the education sector and see what insights will be useful to other PMOs regardless of the sector that PMO can be found in.
The insights come from a research paper - Measuring PMO Performance – Application of the Balanced Scorecard in a Collaborative Research Context - from Philbin and Kaur (2020) available from the Journal of Modern Project Management.
We often get asked about metrics and measures for the PMO.
You might already be aware of the Inside PMO Report we have which is focused on this subject.
There’s a difference between the metrics and measures that the PMO contributes to – such as project success rates and the ones which focus on how well the PMO services are received by the organisation. There is one other area too that tends to get overlooked, and that’s the metrics and measures of the PMO team itself – is the team meeting the objectives and goals of the organisation.
There is a specific goal system that can be used: OKRs (that’s objectives and key results to you and me) have been popular with tech start-ups for years and they seem to have hit the mainstream with more and more organisations adopting the OKR approach to goal and direction setting. OKRs aren’t just for Silicon Valley, they can be a great tool for PMOs to clearly define what they and the portfolios they support are setting out to achieve – and how the goals of the PMO align with the goals of the organisation.
Do you know your KRs from your KPIs? Are your goals likely to have people saying O-wow!… or simply O-dear? John McIntyre from HotPMO helped us explore what OKRs are and how they can be used to align and accelerate PMO performance. Login to see the session; the deck, the writeup and the insights:
Looking for help with metrics and measures in Agile delivery? In this short article, check out the recommendations for further reading - books for your PMO bookshelf
PMO Flashmob presents the Inside PMO report bringing insights from experienced PMO Managers and looks at the question – can we measure the value of a PMO to the business?
The report looks at different aspects including PMO metrics; Service Level Agreements; organisation KPIs and the links to PMO and where our PMO Managers focus when it comes to metrics.
Over at Project Challenge we presented on the latest report from PMO Flashmob, "Inside PMO: KPIs, Metrics and Measures". [The report is available to download here]
In this session we looked at a few of the report's findings.
We kicked off with Eileen sharing:
Why do we measure?
What do we measure?
How do we measure?
When do we measure?
What is our value to the organisation?
How do we measure our value?
We looked at naval-gazing; service catalogs; performance; storytelling; goal setting and a few other bits and pieces. Why not watch the video first and then read the report; the session is 42 minutes long.
Watch the Video Presentation
PMO Labs is our way of getting attendees talking about different PMO themes together. We know that every single one of the PMO Flashmobbers has a story to share, an interesting insight from their careers that others would get a great benefit from. In this PMO Lab, part of the session held at Parliament UK, we continued to look at the insights thrown up from the latest Inside PMO report on KPIs, Metrics and Measures.
In this lab, we looked at data. To gain the data needed to provide the measures and metrics results, well clear, consistent and well-maintained data is at the heart of it. In the report, the advice for those starting out in devising metrics and measures for the PMO is to start with this. If you can work towards getting good data first, all the other parts of KPIs, metrics and measures will become easier.
Let's have a look at the outcomes: