PM Basics | Strategy Support

Project Management Office Comments Off

In my previous post I explained a basic PMO model based on a central intranet site with info on the project methodology, templates for phase deliverables (Requirements doc, etc), and some templates for Risk&Issues, Status Report, Budget and Schedule.

In this post I look into a simple model of PMO to support senior management at the strategic level. Strategy support can be understood as the layer over individual projects, comprising the projects but importantly also the decision-making on what projects to start, continue or stop; and priorities. Strategic Project Management is Governance, Program Management, Portfolio Management.

The main PMO tool at this level is the Projects/Portfolio Dashboard. This is a high level view of projects focusing on the details and criteria that is relevant to answer questions such as do I get ROI from this project? or is it aligned to my strategic objectives?

The PMO can faciliate senior management in the translation of business strategic objectives into programs. Programs are a set of projects related in producing a particular outcome. If business strategy is to grow market share then a program may help sales team with faster customer data, quotes, etc. If business strategy is to lower costs, a program may try to simplify supplier chain, etc.

PMO attention is now on monitoring and controlling projects progress and deviations. Dashboards give this high level view grouping of projects in programs or portfolios. PMOs can also assist in project selection and prioritization using a set criteria depending on the strategic objectives (ROI, risk minimization, market share, etc) and the company capabilities (what we know and can do).  Normally we have a mix of projects that represent low risk and we know we can dof (low hanging fruit), plus projects that maximise return or chosen metric.

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