Value is created through the alignment of projects with the goals of the organisation and best-practice PMOs go beyond alignment with strategic initiatives; they are involved in creating and implementing organisational strategy.
The type of measurements that matter in this environment focus on measures such as ‘Return on investment (ROI)’, benefits realised, risk profiles and payback periods. Simplistic measures such as time and cost performance, use of processes, courses run and the number of qualifications achieved are not sufficient; and in themselves are largely irrelevant.
Processes and staff training are a means to an end, not an end in themselves! What matter is measures that demonstrate the qualified staff, applying the processes, are more effective at delivering valuable outcomes. Good processes improve efficiency and reduce error; bureaucratic processes reduce efficiency and drive up costs (see more on process improvement).
But even that is not enough! These elements only look at doing projects ‘right’. Successful PMO leaders cite project alignment to strategic objectives as the top-rated PMO function that has the greatest potential for adding real business value to their organisational activities.
As part of PMI’s Thought Leadership Series, PMI in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Boston Consulting Group and Forrester Consulting, has examined the changing role of PMOs as they shift emphasis away from process and towards the more important role of contributing to value delivery. Their reports can be downloaded from: http://www.pmi.org/Knowledge-Center/PMO-Thought-Leadership.aspx
There’s a lot of reading in these reports – maybe a good use of any excess holiday time…..
For more of out thoughts on PMOs see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PM-Knowledge_Index.html#OrgGov4