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Why Traditional EPMOs Fail and How Can You Benefit from an EPMO?

The typical Project Management Office (PMO) has become essential in the standardization, management, and execution of projects over the past decade. While PMOs can provide many benefits with regards to documentation, training, resource sharing and overall project success, their ability to align project outcomes with organizational strategy is somewhat limited. The following are some of the challenges that traditional PMOs face with regards to organizational strategy:

The Lack of Strategic Alignment

In some organizations, projects can be chartered, planned, and executed with little insight or understanding as to how planned project benefits tie into the larger corporate strategy. This troublesome disconnect can often lead to the wrong projects being selected for implementation, taking valuable resources away from the projects that would contribute to strategic outcomes.

Organizational Silos

Large or complex organizations, especially those with geographically dispersed locations, lend themselves to the challenge of divergent organizational goals. This dynamic is usually identified by departmental silos that operate in isolation, rather than cooperation with their peers and organizational leadership. These independent silos, in pursuit of their own objectives and agendas, lead to communication problems and poor resource utilization which impact project and strategic success.

Lost in Translation

Because the average PMO typically functions at the department or operational level, their ability to communicate information relative to high-level strategic outcomes is limited. The metrics and pertinent performance information provided at the project level are usually different from those examined at the program and portfolio level, creating a communication void that impacts critical decision making.

Lack of Standardization

More often than not, organizations lack standardization when it comes to project management. Even more challenging is the lack of standardization between departments in the same company, with little desire from within to correct the problem. While the reasons for the lack of continuity are many, the truth is that poor standardization usually results in inconsistent, execution, outcomes, and could ultimately lead to project failure.

What is an EPMO and what are its benefits?

An Enterprise Project Management Office or EPMO is the next step in PMO development that helps overcome the challenges listed above. EPMOs are especially valuable to large, enterprise-level organizations that work globally and have international departments.

The goal of an EPMO is to play a centralized role which will ensure communication with the enterprise leadership as well as to provide support, governance, mentoring and standardization to the PMO departments within. The EPMO doesn’t eliminate the need for department PMOs but complements them. The primary responsibilities of an EPMO are to:

  • Provide mentorship and education to subordinate Project Management Offices and staff operating at different levels.

  • Ensure strategic alignment between PMO departments in order to stay on track with the same short and long-term goals of the organization.

  • Provide value management assessment between departments - measure and evaluate the business value of project initiatives.

  • Maintain proper resource management between PMO departments to increase project efficiency.

  • Coordinate the PMOs enabling two-way communication between departments working on the project.

  • Provide monitoring, audits and tracking to prepare consolidated reports for the executive management.

Simply put, the PMOs focus on doing things right, and EPMOs ensure they are doing the right things.

Here at Titanium Cobra Solutions, we continually strive to implement and improve EMPO models for our clients. Our team of professionals work diligently to develop strategic plans and design frameworks that benefit traditional PMOs across their infrastructure.

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