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Blog post 26 Nov 2019

Is the Enterprise PMO under Threat?

Is the Enterprise PMO under Threat?

In this article, we look at the PMO findings from “The Future of Project Management: Global Outlook 2019”, a KPMG and IPMA Project Management Survey of almost 500 respondents from 57 countries across the globe.

The use of PMOs is widespread across industries globally, with 40% of organisations using centralised or enterprise-wide portfolio level PMOs. 65% report using more focused divisional portfolio or program/project-specific level PMOs.

Disturbingly, 30% of organisations have disestablished a centralised PMO in the past two years. The key reasons given for this are a failure to gain alignment across different organisational divisions and the perception of the PMO being a cost overhead. And only 28% of organisations rate their centralised PMO’s ability to support and effect change at very or extremely effective.

The challenge for PMOs is clearly on the table. To be valued, they need to be focused on facilitating effective decision making around the organisational portfolio or program. This will include actions involving prioritisation of investment and adjusting project delivery activities in an Agile manner to adapt to the changing strategic requirements of the business.

It is also concerning to note the reported low numbers regarding PMO focus areas on engaging senior management with key risks and issues (2%) and ensuring complete, timely and accurate data is collected to enable quality decision making (9%).

Re-thinking the PMO

The paradigm of the enterprise PMO needs to be changed. They must go beyond the tactical processes associated with being an organisational centre of excellence for consolidated reporting. Instead, they need to be focused on facilitating effective decision making around the organisational portfolio or program. This will include actions involving prioritisation investment and adjusting project delivery activities in an Agile manner to adapt to the changing strategic requirements of the business.