Learn about how misunderstandings occur between the PMO and the business, and explore ways to resolve them. Relationships between the PMO and business must be strong to optimize project delivery performance.
- If you've been involved with a PMO, you'll know that at least some business stakeholders won't understand or appreciate the value that a PMO delivers. Those stakeholders include department heads and senior staff in the business areas the PMO supports, and the sponsors and customers of projects from those areas. This problem shows itself in a number of ways. Business areas ask the PMO to get involved in things that aren't part of their work, directly managing projects or excessive reporting. Or sponsors want the PMO to be an escalation point when they don't get what they want from project managers. Sometimes the PMO isn't included when it should be, left out of meetings or excluded from decisions made about projects by the business. And sometimes stakeholders try to redefine the PMO's role entirely, requesting different priorities or focus areas. In virtually every case, the underlying issue here is a lack of communication. The PMO is created by the leadership in the organization or by an individual department to solve a series of project-related issues. But no one explains that to the other business stakeholders the PMO has to work with. This information vacuum results in those stakeholders making their own assumptions about what the PMO does, and more specifically, results in them deciding to create their own description of what they need the PMO to do. The good news is that solving this problem is not difficult. It simply requires clear messaging from the area of the business that the PMO reports to around why the PMO was created, what the PMO is doing, and how that work helps the business to improve. That messaging must then be supported by the PMO working collaboratively with all stakeholders to establish how that PMO mandate helps each of them succeed, the what's in it for them. The PMO's work must align with its mandate, but it must also help the sponsors, customers, and business areas, and that requires an actively managed relationship, a partnership. All partners must recognize that this relationship will shift and evolve over time. The PMO's priorities next year may be different from this year. And the business areas the PMO supports will have different needs in the future. To prevent this problem from coming back, the PMO must continue to work alongside each business area it supports, assisting every stakeholder and ensuring they're getting the guidance they need to improve project success. The PMO leaders who develop these strong relationships will always have stakeholders who understand and support the work the PMO does.
- Relationship challenges
- Misunderstandings with leadership
- Working with multiple PMOs
- Influence and impact challenges
- When the PMO is disregarded
- Internal challenges
- Bandwidth issues
- Integrating agile
- Challenges of the future direction