Saturday, March 07, 2009

Planview's PMO 2.0 Survey

If you have not read Planview's "2008 PMO 2.0 Survey Report" or watched the webcast, do so now.

I've now read the report for the second time - yes, it is that interesting. I also wanted to make some notes. Let me first compliment Planview. This is an excellent work and continues to reinforce their leadership in the PMO space. Terry Doerscher is their Chief Process Architect and driving force behind the PMO 2.0 initiative, and the chief contributor to Planview's thought leadership. No, I am not getting paid, and no I do not have a Planview system. I ran a PMO that had one and liked it very much, but no kickbacks (yet anyway). On to the survey.

The survey was given to over 1000 PMO directors, managers, staff and sponsors. Thirty-three percent of the respondents were directors with PMO staff and Project managers being the next highest groups. Both the target audience and the number of respondents make the information in this survey particularly relevent to those of us running PMOs. The industry breakdown was also healthy with no single industry making up more than 14% of the total (government was at 14%).

The overall message of the survey is that the PMO is growing and changing into something more effective, strategic and has a broader range of influence than ever before. Here are a few quotes from the survey report that really hit home with me.

"PMO performance, process maturity and the presence and impact of operational challenges ... showed little sensitivity to differences in organizational size.."
I love this one because it says that you do not have to be in a big company to have a big impact! The Fortune 100 does not have a monopoly on great PMOs!

"The PMO has historically be considered to be limited to supporting projects, or groups of projects arranged in programs or as project portfolios. ... survey data indicates this commonly accepted definition of PMO scope is now in the minority."
WOW - PMOs are truly evolving into the mainstream of corporate management. Twenty-eight percent of the responders say that thier PMO is involved in "all planned work and resources INCLUDING Operations."

"Over half of the PMOs participating the survey (55%) report to a C-level executive (CIO/CTO included)..."
About time I say! This also speaks to the value of the PMO and how so many companies now recognize this. Look for this number to continue to climb.

"An average of 15 functions were being provided per PMO." Again - wow. Figure 7 on Page 8 lists 37 PMO functions performed by responding PMOs. Thirty-seven, we are proviing more valuable services to the organization than ever before. No more are we the project reporting center.

While not a quote, Figure 20 on page 19 is very powerful. The figure cross references process maturity and operational challenges. It clearly illustrates how even the most basic maturity improvements can make a huge difference. Each rise in maturity reduces the impact and severity of operational challenges. Even going from level 1 (informal or undefined processes) to level 2 (defined processes but not well adopted) shows large benefits.

There are some great pieces of information in the summary as well - even practical recommendations. There is a quasi-definition of the PMO that I think better defines where we are now and how we will continue to evolve. I'll leave you with that:

"... the unique objective of the PMO is to provide a group dedicated to supporting and integrating operational solutions across organizational boundaries."