How an innovative model will help your PMO assess the needs of its stakeholders and define the best functions to meet their expectations.
It is very common to find PMOs performing functions that do not fit the expectations of their stakeholders, apparently showing little commitment to generating effective results and creating value. Thus, these PMOs quickly lose support because they fail to generate perceived value for their stakeholders and organizations.
The PMO could be seen as a kind of “service provider” in which it has stakeholders with specific needs. Within these stakeholders, we can name, for example, executives, project managers, functional managers, and team members, each with their own demands and expectations.
The most important question shared by a significant portion of PMO leaders is:
Are PMOs really generating perceived value for their stakeholders?
At first, asking the stakeholders directly what functions they expect the PMO to perform may seem like a good idea, but unfortunately the “PMO language” is not the same as that spoken by its stakeholders. While the PMO talks about “what functions should be performed,” stakeholders say “what benefits and results interest me and my organization.”
Therefore, the answer to this dilemma would be to speak the same language as the PMO stakeholders, focusing on benefits and results.
The PMO VALUE RING methodology presents, in its first step, a model that was created to help define the PMO’s priority functions, considering the expectations of its stakeholders. This step will support PMO function prioritization, considering stakeholder needs, based on the experience of mature PMO leaders.
Speak the language of your stakeholders, focused on benefits and results.
A senior executive could say that one of his priorities would be to better control projects, but he would rarely say how best to achieve that objective.
Could implementing a methodology in project management improve project control? Does supporting project planning contribute to more effective project control? Finally, which set of functions could be performed by the PMO to maximize the possibility of generating these benefits expected by its stakeholders?
The answer lies in identifying cause and effect relationships between functions and benefits. The probability that each PMO function has of generating the benefits expected by its stakeholders.
The success of the PMO also involves its continued ability to readjust and reconfigure itself.
From surveys with 288 experienced PMO leaders and interviews with 84 PMO stakeholders, we have proposed two lists: The 26 potential PMO functions, and the 30 potential benefits expected by the PMO stakeholders. After that, we conducted a survey with PMO leaders to understand their perceptions about the correlations between PMO functions and PMO benefits.
The first step in applying this benchmarking model to a specific PMO is identifying its stakeholders and their individual priorities in terms of expected benefits, by using the list of the 30 potential benefits mentioned above. Based on this information, the model will be able to suggest the relevance of each function to meet the benefit expectations of the stakeholders.
The first functions are supposed to contribute the most to the benefits expected by the PMO stakeholders, while those at the end of the table are the ones that have the least contribution potential.
Since each PMO has different stakeholders with different benefit expectations, we can conclude that the relevance will be different in each case, resulting in different priorities for each PMO and different mix of functions.
It is important to note that each function has a probability of meeting the expectations informed by the PMO stakeholders. By selecting only a few of these functions into the mix, a new total probability of meeting these expectations will be reached.
This indicator is called “Adherence to Stakeholder Expectations,” and the higher its rate, the greater the likelihood of stakeholders perceiving the value of a PMO.
Another important factor to consider is the complexity of keeping the PMO aligned with expectations, since the organization and its stakeholders are always changing depending on business scenarios, strategic decisions, or simply by the evolution of the maturity of its stakeholders.
All these factors will, over time, directly affect the needs of the PMO stakeholders. The best way to avoid failure is to understand that this process of transformation is natural and continuous.
The success of a PMO is not only related to its ability to understand who its stakeholders are, their expectations and how to serve them, but also the ability to create clear benefits and generate perceived value.
The greater the PMO’s ability to meet the needs of stakeholders, the greater the perceived value they hold over the PMO.
This model is one step of PMO VALUE RING, an innovative methodology and benchmarking tool for creating, evaluating, and managing PMOs.
PMO VALUE RING has been developed in collaboration with experienced PMO leaders from around the world, and more than 4,500 professionals in 65 countries have been using it.
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