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Measuring What You Manage – The Importance of Project and PMO Assurance

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, right? In order to fully understand the efficacy of your PMO and delivery teams, it pays to have processes and metrics in place that enable objective assessment and measurement of PMO functionality and project outcomes.

Regular Reviews

One of the best ways to determine whether or not your PMO is effective is to have regular reviews of PMO maturity. There are a number of standard models that can be utilised for self-assessment, the P3M3 model (from Axelos) is a common one as is the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). These models are useful for initiating conversation around where you are currently on your PMO maturity journey and where you need to go next.

At Pledge Consulting, we have our own proprietary PMO and project health check model. The ‘PC 18 Point Health Check’ is broad enough to assess all areas of PMO Heath (regardless of the type of PMO you are running) and flexible enough to be tailored to focus on the areas that really matter (and add value) to your business. Even better the model can be applied to project and programs as well as PMOs.

Figure 1.0 PC 18 Point Health Check (Portfolio Example)

Whether you are utilising external consulting support or are keen to use self-assessment techniques, a quarterly or half yearly PMO review can be instrumental in supporting increased PMO value and keeping stakeholders and executives satisfied.

Our Delivery Lifecyle Assurance Framework highlights the areas that most benefit from review through the life span of a PMO, Portfolio, Program or Project.

Figure 2.0 Pledge Consulting Delivery Lifecycle Assurance Framework

PMO Metrics

Having metrics in place is also a great strategy to provide confidence to stakeholders that the PMO is a value adding function. The exact metrics required will vary depending on the type of PMO and the range of services on offer, but typical PMO metrics include quantitative measures on project schedules, risk trends and statistics, on time, on budget delivery statistics, as well as measures that look at project or technical quality assurance. When this data is captured and tracked over time, it becomes woven into the fabric of the PMO and supports a performance delivery culture. It also helps at review time to demonstrate progress.

Prevention is (almost always!) Cheaper Than Cure

Making sure your projects are in good shape and your PMO is effective is not just something that should be done where there is a problem. Reactive management is rarely a good idea. The following statistics make a compelling case for organisations to be proactive about project and PMO assurance.

  • In a survey of 10,640 projects by PwC of 200 companies from 30 countries across various industries, only 2.5% of the companies successfully completed 100% of their projects.
  • Over 50% of project managers stated that they do not consistently achieve stated project deliverables. (KPMG)
  • 56% of businesses are dissatisfied with project/portfolio performance (Welingtone)
  • 46% of companies have come forward to accept that they do not understand the need or importance of project management. (PMI)

Our job is to support our clients to get the maximum return from the investments they make in their delivery portfolio. A robust assurance process provides lower levels of delivery risk, higher quality deliverables and more predictable project outcomes.

If we can help you set up a process for continuous assurance across your delivery portfolio or PMO, talk to us today!

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