- Forrester Councils
- Councils Overview
- log in
Posted by Mike Gilpin on October 29, 2010
By Mike Gilpin
I was in the audience at our recent “Business Process & Application Delivery Forum” for the track session “Using The Next-Generation PMO To Promote Innovation,” which was delivered by Margo Visitacion. The premise of the session was that leading-edge PMOs (project management offices) are evolving to a more strategic role, focused on portfolio management of business investment rather than just IT projects or programs.
I know this phenomenon is real because I, too, have talked with multiple Forrester clients, PMO leaders, who have elevated the mission of their PMO to this level -- often to the extent that they no longer report into the CIO but are outside IT, reporting into a business exec like the COO or CEO. In so doing, they have refocused their efforts on everything from guiding business leaders through building a business case for the investments they want to make, to guiding decision-makers through selection from the portfolio of investment proposals, to tracking benefits realization and ROI after the fact. PMOs with this kind of business-focused, strategic mission have greater business impact and are often close partners with executives leading their firm.
During the session, one of the attendees asked an interesting question: “At our firm, the functions you describe are led by the enterprise architecture team as part of the strategic planning and business architecture process. Which is better suited to doing this function, EA or the PMO?”
Our answer? It can work either way -- what's really most important is that the people you choose have the right qualities to take on this critical role, by background, inclination, and capability. What matters in choosing which path is best for your firm?
Furthermore, it’s not just EA or the PMO that could be placed in this role. Responsibility for strategic investment planning is sometimes located as a staff responsibility in the office of the CIO or, for smaller firms, handled directly by the CIO. In these firms, the PMO is usually in an earlier stage of maturation, still focused on promoting project management best practices and ensuring that the trains run on time.
Other candidates for this role include relationship managers, demand managers, and the like. So many options.
What about your firm? Which path are you on? Which approach do you see succeeding more often, and why?
Join the discussion at: http://tinyurl.com/2cxh8hd
Lead BT Transformation
Develop customer-obsessed strategies to drive growth »
Forrester's CX Index
Predict how actions to improve CX will affect revenue performance.
Measure the customer experiences that matter most »
Free On-Demand and Live Events
Latest events from Forrester analysts, online and in person. »