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PMOs Adding Value Through Integrated Governance

There are two things that PMOs seem to struggle with today – the first, about the value they are adding to their organisations and their role in providing governance-related services.
In this session, we bring the two together and provide much food for thought with something called business integrated governance.
Do you run an effective PMO, yet feel that you can offer so much more to the running of your business? Are you fed up with trying to upsell the service you provide from an effectiveness and efficiency viewpoint – because the business just doesn’t buy it?
Perhaps you’re taking the wrong approach?
Business Integrated (P3M) Governance is the model that connects the opportunities, threats, imperatives and goals that main/executive boards face, to the objectives, targets and challenges (i.e. strategy) handed over to the Change Portfolio(s), Product and Operations Group(s).
> You can read into the detail over on the Praxis website
Praxis is the delivery framework we use on the House of PMO Essentials courses. Contains some great free stuff on portfolio, programme and project delivery.
 

What is Business Integrated Assurance?

 

Business Integrated (P3M) Governance (BIG) connects programmes and projects with BAU (operating the business, providing resources and realising benefits), finance (ensuring investments are good, performance is acceptable and that key business interests are protected) and value generation (product development and delivery).
Underpinning this is a clear governance framework that aligns “run” and “change” the business. BIG needs data and that requires people, processes and technology.
It also requires “Business Support” to enable that to happen effectively.

Business Support

 
The “Business support” service level includes a greater depth, higher level and wider coverage than a project focused PMO may provide out of only one project, department or domain. In the BIG context, Business Support reaches up into the strategic process, across into finance, and works with business-as-usual teams not just in projects.
It is often the case that PMO members can see the need for Business Support, but their position in the organisation, scale and reputation may present barriers to developing a “bottom-up” business case for Business Support. They may face parochialism, and a lack of appetite to adopt a coordinated, integrated business support service with perhaps greater independence from individual domains.
However, the business case for BIG is much more compelling with the very powerful message of strategy attainment, business agility, and effectiveness and efficiency.
The question is – can a PMO put the message to the right people, gain consensus to do something and trigger change? If it can, it will increase its role, escalate its importance and step-change value to the organisation.
Can BIG help PMOs do more and be better for the departments that “run” and “change” the business?  Can BIG help PMOs increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Strategy Implementation throughout the business?  The answer is YES and David Dunning makes that case in this session.
There is a lot covered in this session so make sure you check out our notes, the discussion and the top ten takeaways.
 

The Recorded Session

 

The Slide Deck

 
> Take a look at the PDF
> Or download the Powerpoint presentation
 

The Scribbled Notes

 

The Discussion

 
Here are some of the insights from the chat from those attending:
Overwhelmingly, the PMO community in this session didn’t like the term “business support” especially if the role or function of business support is actually the PMO.
“Is there a better name – being called Business Support can start the whole discussion and years of effort to explain to the world that we’re not admin!”
“Business Support would really struggle as for the majority of organisations it is suggestive of the typing pool/secretariat, would face similar issues that PMO currently does. Definitely issue of ‘what’s in a name'”
The root of the challenge when building a suite of services/support as a PMO for the business –  I’ve found that the PMO filling gaps not typically PMO ( i.e., IT Service related, organisational governance etc) impact what the PMO could offer as we spread ourselves too thin by trying to close the gaps in the organisation’s structure.
The intersect of Run and Change is where it gets tricky and the temptation to add value in ‘Run’ detracts from PMO traditional value add.
I also think that the organisation can think we’re getting too big for our boots when we start ‘messing’ outside the project/programme/portfolio arena.
Can also see issues on PMO capability to do this if it tries to come from anywhere other than an established and respected Portfolio PMO.
I think it depends on the kind of person who is heading up the PMO to do this – if you’re ePMO – why aren’t you focused across the entirety of the business? Because the organisation doesn’t let us – they pigeonhole us in portfolio reporting rather than portfolio management – or see portfolio management as just the collection of projects and programmes and don’t see the relationship/ bridge between the portfolio and BAU.
I think it’s not right to look at this as PMO evolution. Leave the PMO baggage behind
 

The Top Five Takeaways

 

 
 
Business integrated governance is one way to answer the killer question – how many initiatives are running across the business which are in place to meet strategic objectives?
This highlights that the lines between change the business / run the business are becoming increasingly blurred and if the PMO traditionally supports in the ‘change the business side, could it also be assisting in the ‘run the business’ side. If not the PMO, what or who else in the business could be supporting company-wide integrated governance?

 
 
What stops your PMO from growing or moving forward? That was the poll question and the most popular answer was a lack of understanding of how the PMO can add value.
This is how the business integrated governance model is being positioned to the PMO – an opportunity to really improve the delivery of strategic outcomes – performance with confidence and control. It’s the bit about being more involved at the strategic level that appeals – certainly to ePMOs and portfolio level PMOs.

 
 
The PMO getting more involved with business integrated governance also means that the PMO would need to understand more about the business – not just the project side – but the whole lot – finance, HR, the board etc. This is certainly what is needed for those more senior roles in PMO anyway like PMO Director.
 

 
 
For something like business integrated governance to work, it would need an organisation with a fairly high level of maturity – one which would already have many of the building blocks in place. It’s also clear that there does need to be a supporting function that helps pull it all together – to create a cadence of information and reporting for one. That, in turn, means there has to be a data management strategy in place too – another sign that the organisation is mature enough.
 

 
 
I challenge you to step back from the PMO perspective and help your business with the support it needs to deliver strategy and performance.
That’s the rallying call from David, it’s about a different perspective on how the PMO can deliver value to the organisation –
The thing about BIG is that we recognise support is needed to enable strategy delivery.
And this is what we’ve been talking about for many years – how does the PMO provide that support from strategy to the portfolio to the programmes and projects that deliver change. Nothing has changed there but what BIG is about is including more of the business – the other departments that are also running initiatives that are delivering against their strategic objectives without using the organisation’s delivery (or project management) function. It’s about putting arms around the whole lot.
 
 
 

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