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Establish an Effective PMO for IT

Over 60% of IT projects don’t succeed – build an effective PMO to avoid becoming another statistic.

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  • Chris Carter, Senior Manager, Advisory & Director, Value Management, Global Management Consulting, KPMG
  • Steve Pinkus, Pinkus Consulting, Inc.
  • Charles Stevens, Independent Consultant, PMO Advisory and Business Operations
  • Sherry Schoonover, Deputy Director of IT and CSO, City of Topeka
  • Kirk Hale, Director, IT Infrastructure and Security, Brooks Rehabilitation
  • Karen Wiltgen, Director, McGladrey LLP
  • Dr. Mark Bojeun, Chief Technology Officer, Valsatech Corp
  • Many organizations use projects as a method for achieving strategic goals.
  • Due to the project-based nature of most IT departments, IT is often tasked with managing, executing, or delivering many projects or project components for both IT and the business.
  • Managing many projects simultaneously in a coordinated manner is beyond the capability of many organizations.
  • This results in a poor understanding of project performance and decisions being made based on inadequate information. Projects are more likely to fail and be inefficient in their execution, leading to a destruction of business value.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • A Project Management Office (PMO) is the conductor of your project orchestra. Without a PMO, projects execute independently in an uncoordinated manner. A PMO brings them together into a single holistic view and maximizes project synergy.
  • A world-class PMO uses finely honed capabilities to maximize project portfolio execution. A PMO can maximize the benefits of nine PMO capabilities and focus on the capabilities most important to you.

Impact and Result

  • A method to coordinate project activities so that all functions and tasks operate in concert is required.
  • The leadership role best suited for the coordinated execution of projects is the PMO.
  • Implementing a PMO can help to ensure that resources are being used effectively, projects are completed successfully, standardized processes are being followed, and accurate information is being used for decision making.

Research & Tools

1. Understand the characteristics of high-performing PMOs

Determine if a PMO is right for the organization.

2. Prepare to build the PMO

Determine the right type of PMO for the organization and create a project charter to communicate important details about the PMO implementation to key stakeholders.

3. Assess PMO capabilities

Determine the steps to be completed in order to achieve the required level of each capability for the organization’s PMO.

4. Build the implementation roadmap

After determining the required capability, decide on the supporting PMO infrastructure and create an implementation roadmap.

5. Get the roadmap approved

Present the implementation roadmap to management and get final approval to implement the PMO.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a six call advisory process.

Call #1 - Confirm your need for a PMO

Use the PMO assessment tool to inform your decision regarding the need for a PMO. You will discuss the severity of the need and how to select the right type of PMO for your organization.

Call #2 - Validate your PMO charter

Review the six types of PMOs and confirm the selection of the right type of PMO for your organization. Review the selection of the sponsor of the PMO establishment project and the project charter.

Call #3 - Confirm your capability gaps

Discuss the capabilities required to build an effective PMO, and which ones are most important to your specific organization. Review the gaps and the options to close them.

Call #4 - Determine the “right” tool for your PPM capability

There are many types of tools available to help with project portfolio management. Review the tool options and confirm the type of tool that best suits your organization and level of maturity.

Call #5 - Validate your roadmap

Design your PMO structure and build a roadmap for its creation. Review the results of your design and plan to maximize the efficiency and success of your project.

Call #6 - Get your roadmap approved

Develop a presentation to get your project plan approved by management.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Evaluate Current State & Gap Analysis

The Purpose

  • Define the purpose, scope, and goals of the PMO.
  • Analyze key stakeholders.
  • Evaluate current and target capability maturity levels and identify initiatives to close gaps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined purpose, scope, and goals of the PMO.
  • Key stakeholders identified.
  • Identified initiatives to close current and target state capability maturity levels.




Getting started & measuring success

  • Target metrics
  • Defined scope of the PMO

Goal setting & completing the charter

  • Set of 3-5 goals for the PMO
  • Analyzed list of stakeholders
  • Completed project charter

Current & target state assessment

  • Defined current and target state capability maturities

Gap analysis

  • Validated gap analysis
  • Selected category of PMO solution

Module 2: Create a PMO Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Determine the reporting structure of the PMO.
  • Define roles.
  • Create best-of-breed processes and tools from existing artifacts.
  • Prioritize capability gaps and sequence initiatives.
  • Create a presentation to sell your roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships.
  • Completed plan for PMO implementation.
  • Completed presentation for management.




Define the reporting structure

  • Organizational chart
  • Job descriptions

Establish an initial PMO toolbox

  • PMO tools, templates, & processes

Create the roadmap

  • Completed roadmap

Next steps

  • PMO presentation to management

Member Testimonials

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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.




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Childfund International

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Ecore International

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Anglo Beef Processors

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Kentucky Housing Corporation

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United Federal Credit Union

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York Region District School Board

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Transnet Freight Rail

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Social Security Administration

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Department of Citywide Adminstrative Services - New York City

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Guided Implementation




Loyola University Maryland

Guided Implementation




Search Code: 74683
Published: April 21, 2014
Last Revised: October 9, 2014

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