Blog Feature

By: Jeff Collins

Print this Page

January 4th, 2017

5 Keys to Success All PMOs Need to Know

Business leaders and project management offices (PMOs) have hundreds, if not thousands, of responsibilities. They oversee project deadlines, budgets and quality assurance concerns. But, modern projects are only growing in scope and complexity. The size of a project can easily require hundreds of employees across great distances.

Controlling a project’s variables is essential to its success. A slip of the office responsibilities could lead to failure in the project and untold consequences for the careers of project management professionals. So, the office needs to reduce costs and meet rising expectations with new tools, such as those identified in this ebook. Visibility and budgets grow tighter. Training new employees means facing political turmoil, geographic barriers and more. But, knowing these keys to success will change how the office achieves higher standards. 

 


Take a moment to think about your project portfolio.
In our most recent ebook, we've highlighted some key ways you can improve the success of your project portfolio.

Download Now


Visibility Into Multiple Projects Is Crucial

A PMO needs to have a few tricks ready to meet continuing demands and understand why visibility is among the essentials of successful business leadership. Visibility helps the office maintain public relations and connect with stakeholders. Also, it ensures the project adheres to stringent quality standards and reduce costs. When working across multiple projects, the issue of visibility grows more important.

A few errors or oversights in random tasks or activities in a project may result in added costs. This can make the initial expense seem trivial. Yet, multiplying these costs by total number of projects managed generates large sums of lost revenue and added expenses.

The solution lies in reducing overall costs and improving visibility. So, project managers must help all parties in the project see how their actions affect project’s status. In addition, the PMO can begin reducing costs and increasing visibility by downloading this ebook. Visibility will improve accountability, decrease risk and boost collaboration.  

What About Process Evaluation?

Evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of processes remains another aspect of project success. Think about how projects benefit from mobile technology. Mobile devices enable immediate communication, collaboration and adherence to project details in different software platforms from any location. How the office communicates reflects its processes.

For example, an office that avoids using tablets or mobile data-powered devices cannot access a complete work breakdown structure in the project management system. This may lead to lost opportunities during the preparation phase, or it could undermine the successful closing of a project.

Now, the modern project office may have evaluated communication and planning tools in the past, opting for a more mobile, easy-to-access system. This is process evaluation. As new technologies become available, process evaluation will grow more critical.

Comprehensive Training Must Permeate the Office

If you ordered a meal at a restaurant, would you want everyone in the kitchen to understand food safety or just the cook?

This example highlights the importance of training everyone in the office. Project requirements may vary. The cohesive skillset of people in the office is your most inexhaustible resource. But, all employees need to understand how different responsibilities and roles impact the success of different projects. Much like the example, the planning team needs to understand how estimates translate into budgets, and recordkeeping members must consider the reports of other office members. This level of collaboration enables flexibility and agile processes, as explained by this blog post. Yet, it also gives the team a sense of responsibility as a group, enticing members to work with greater accuracy and resolve.

IT Support Reduces Downtime, Mitigating Risk Along the Way

Using the best software platforms to gain insights and visibility in a project is good. But, it lacks value if a minor disruption leads to extended downtime. The PMO must ensure any systems used include IT support solutions. IT support enhances response time, maintaining compliance with applicable security and governmental regulations when an event interrupts workflows.

An IT support solution is not just available when things go wrong. IT support professionals can help project management professionals migrate existing systems to newer platforms. Or, they can help late-night employees update system software. For example, updates may contain critical security information. While many updates are automatic, errors may still occur. If so, the support team can guide staff through the update procedure, reducing downtime.

Time and Expense Allocation Aligns Budgets and Schedules

Time has a way of getting away from people. This is a complicated way to say distractions are inevitable. The best employees will still make mistakes or spend too much time chasing tangents. Meanwhile, expenses for immediate tasks and activities continue to stack up, threatening to push the budget past its limitations.

In the project office, staff members must compare time spent on management tasks against expenses to mitigate these tangents. The resulting ratio indicates the level of efficiency and productivity within the office. In other words, too much time for set expenses leads to lost production value. And, too little time might lead to inaccuracies or poor quality of a project’s deliverables. Making this ratio available to team members helps them stay conscious of their responsibilities and expected time requirements. It lowers the overall costs within the office.

Start Benefiting From These Key Essentials Now

A project office is only as good as its weakest employee. But, these weaknesses can be mitigated with the following tips:

  • Increasing the level of visibility in a single project reduces costs. But, increasing visibility across all projects significantly decreases risk and the likelihood of going over budget even more.
  • Outdated processes lead to inefficient systems and delays in modern project management.
  • Comprehensive training helps hold project teams to higher standards and enables cross-disciplinary understanding.
  • IT support solutions eliminate concerns over downtime or security patches, helping projects stay on track.
  • Proper allocation of time and expenses improves accountability and reduces overall costs.

Tell us what keys to success you have found useful that were not mentioned in this post by commenting below. And, find out why any effective PMO understands that success begins with increasing visibility by downloading this free ebook today.

How to Make Your Organization Stand Out

About Jeff Collins

Hi there, thanks for reading! As the President of IMS, I’ve just about seen it all in the project management industry. I’m happy to share my experiences to help managers and organizations improve their project performance. Please reach out to our team if you’re struggling to achieve your goals. We’d love to work with you to discover the PM solutions you need for success.

  • Connect with Jeff Collins