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The Future of PMO – Whitepaper Review

At the beginning of 2021, Chaucer, the consulting firm which focuses on change and transformation, released a whitepaper called The Future of PMO.

The paper was created based on the insights of 85 PMO professionals across 13 different industries.

The report itself focused on what the PMO was doing well; the main areas that need improvement and some key themes about where the future lies for PMO.

As you can expect from a report like this, it is Chaucer’s clients who are completing the survey so we’re looking at organisations that use a consultancy to help with the PMO.

The report is also predominantly focused on programme level PMOs. If you’d like to see the main highlights from the report, you can get these in the 5 page PDF download here:

Report OverviewMain Headlines

What the PMO does well?

  • establishes and facilitates effective governance
  • provides reporting that is accurate and is current data
  • delivers effective planning
  • supports effective exception management

What are the main areas where improvements are needed?

  • provides strategic advice around PMO efficacy
  • engages the wider community and helps embed best practice culture
  • advances PPM tooling that facilitates collaboration and automates processes
  • delivers effective planning.

PMO Maturity

PMOs are often interested in PMO maturity and if a model exists. In the white paper, 13% of those surveyed were at Basic, 46% were working at or towards Foundational and 30% were working at or towards Advanced. Interesting language – working at or towards – does that mean 59% could be at the Basic level?

Top Themes and Insights

Asking for thoughts and opinions from the surveyed PMO professionals, the answers were combed and collated to give several theme areas about what they thought about the future of PMO.

Interesting Insights

  • Highlighted that a lack of skill in the PMO around data will be a barrier for success in the tooling area – something we’ve highlighted before (see the AI report)
  • A voice is needed at the senior level to highlight the ongoing lack of efficiency and accuracy because the PMO still works without 21st-century tools.
  • Agile is not just about supporting Agile led delivery – it’s also about the PMO’s responsiveness and pace, our pace of service is linked to the team’s capability and the ways of working we adopt.
  • The PMO must be capable and already engaged in the right places in the business in order for the PMO to have a role in strategy deployment. There is an argument for focusing more on the senior level roles of the PMO than the junior ones if the PMO is focused on operating at a strategic level. One at the expense of the other? Interesting idea.
  • To engage the community the PMO should have change management expertise within it and use the change techniques to increase engagement – this will be much more effective than just a rebrand.
  • The PMO can also look at Design Thinking to better establish PMOs within organisations – we should be engaging others in the design of the PMO.

  The download and read the full report, visit Chaucer

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