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The Global State of the PMO 2015

global-pmo-esi-300Today sees the release of ESI International’s latest annual benchmarking survey, “The Global State of the PMO 2015.”

The annual survey seeks to investigate the evolving role of the Project/Programme Management Office (PMO) in training and development, its level of maturity and value for the overall business. This year’s survey continues its inquiry into the role that Agile plays within the PMO.

The key findings include:

  • More Strategic and Mature: While the number of PMOs remains steady, the level of PMO maturity has grown worldwide, and whilst it is still early days, there is evidence that PMOs are increasingly moving away from just providing monitoring and controlling activities and instead are moving upwards to provide support at the strategic and portfolio level.
  • The PMO Value Dilemma: While more and more PMOs are reaching full-scale maturity – demonstrated by an increase in services which support strategy and portfolio management – they have a long way to go when it comes to demonstrating value through considered, quantitative measurement and metrics.
  • The Rise of Agile: The use of Agile is increasing in all areas, especially in larger organisations, with the UK showing the greatest increase followed by India and Germany, yet the survey suggests a looming skills crisis in Agile implementation. Project/programme level PMOs have had the most challenges in this area, pointing to a need for organisational buy-in rather than trying to implement from the bottom up. The PMO needs to act to provide better training in Agile, as well as try and alter cultural bias against the approach.
  • Funding Secure: Funding for the PMO is considered secure today – with 74 percent of respondents believing it will increase or stay the same. The fact that the majority of it comes from corporate heads means PMOs will continue to be challenged by senior management until the PMO can clearly demonstrate its value.
  • The PMO Career Path: Only 46 percent of PMOs surveyed offered a defined career path for staff. When broken down into job title this equated to 37 percent of project managers, 31 percent of programme managers and only 18 percent of portfolio managers stating their PMO offered some form of a career path.
  • The PMO Challenge: 72 percent of respondents claimed the PMO had been challenged by senior management. The top three reasons for challenging the PMO were its lack of perceived value (44 percent); its lack of project/programme maturity in the organisation (41 percent) and a lack of executive support (32 percent). Resource management was considered one of the greatest perceived challenges for PMOs – and more specifically, the lack of training and skilled resources in Agile projects.

“Despite the increasing maturity of PMOs globally, PMOs still struggle to prove their value,” said J. LeRoy Ward, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, CSM, SCPM, Senior Executive Consultant, ESI. “This survey has proven that PMO effectiveness measurement and the project/programme alignment with strategic objectives are closely linked. Organisations would do well to put metrics in place to measure their PMO’s effectiveness. What’s good for the PMO is good for the project and vice versa.”

Today, J LeRoy Ward presents the key findings to a PMO audience at The PMO Conference in London where the report becomes available for the first time.


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About Nadine Rochester

Nadine Rochester
Nadine is a marketing director at Strategy Execution.

A experienced marketing strategist and technologist, Nadine is also passionate about project management, business analysis and agile PM, managing and contributing to the company PM blog servicing 40,000 monthly users.

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