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Is Your PMO Strategic?

Is your Project Management Office (PMO) strategic? Or are you solely focused on delivering projects on time and on schedule (more tactical). While there is nothing wrong certainly with delivering your projects on time and on schedule, consider your impact within the organization. Consider also the projects being worked on within the PMO. This is how you become more strategic in your thinking and support of your customers.

If you want to move toward your PMO being more strategic, align yourself to the business. Change your focus to advancing the organization’s vision. Projects selected must be tied to the business and focused on helping the businesses (Finance, Manufacturing, HR, etc.) meet their objectives.

Take these simple steps to start moving your PMO from being tactical to being more strategic and aligned with the businesses and the organization as a whole:

  1. Meet with each of the business unit/department/functional area heads and understand their challenges and their objectives for the next few years.
  2. Meet with the leadership team to be sure you are clear on the organizational long term strategic objectives and vision.

Once you have this information, look at the projects currently in the pipeline within the PMO. Do they align to the overall organizational vision and long term strategic objectives and (where applicable) to the business’ objectives and goals?

Prioritize your projects – selecting those that align to the organizational strategy first and those that align to the business’ objectives second. Hold to the side those projects that are “pet projects” or do not help the organization advance its vision.

Have a meeting with the organizational leaders to discuss the current projects in the pipeline and how they were prioritized. Work closely with them to select those projects that will help to advance the organization’s vision and secure their support to manage “pet projects” and other projects that may not make sense to complete.

This doesn’t happen overnight; so be patient. Relationship building is important here. Start the conversation within the businesses. Get to know their goals and objectives.