CEO Today - September 2023 Edition

In evermore turbulent economic times, organisations are facing an increasing need to transform in order to stay relevant and competitive. They need to be able to turn strategy into reality quickly, and adapt to a changing business landscape, all of which happens through projects. The PMO is therefore at the heart of strategic change, and its true value is its ability to drive strategic outcomes that senior executives demand. If the PMO is overly focused on enforcing standardised processes and templates, rather than driving tangible business outcomes and supporting strategic conversations, senior leaders might view it as a hindrance and not an enabler of success. Instead of measuring success solely on factors such as the timeliness of projects, scope, and budget, the PMO should showcase its impact through return on investment, efficiency gains, cost savings, risk reduction, and increased throughput. If the PMO is not consistently delivering projects that align with the organisation’s strategy and yield meaningful results, it is important for senior leaders to consider how to help the PMO make that change. To maximise its impact, the C-suite should help the PMO transition from being a project enabler to a strategic business partner. This metamorphosis involves the C-suite ensuring that the PMO is fully bought into the organisation’s strategy, that they are facilitating the discussion on the projects that will deliver this strategy and clearly communicating the expected outcomes. By establishing relationships, the PMO gains the influence needed to drive better decisions, informed by data-driven insights. In order to raise the PMO’s authority and credibility within the organisation, a member of the C-suite should act as the PMO’s sponsor, ensuring that they are included in conversations of strategic importance and helping the office to develop relationships with the wider leadership team. A critical step in enabling the PMO to reach its potential is equipping it with the right tools. Too often PMOs rely on disconnected content, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint decks. As a result, their resources are wasted on manually collecting data and creating reports, rather than adding strategic value. Investing in proper Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tools

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