Making time to give your PMO a health check is perhaps not top of your list of priorities right now. We understand that running a PMO can be an all-consuming job. That’s exactly why it’s worth putting some time in your schedule now to step back and give your PMO a bit of a service, just like you would your car.
Let’s look at 5 of the top benefits you’ll get from a Project Management Office health check.
1. You Get A Benchmark
One of the primary reasons to do a PMO health check is to find out where you are. It might sound strange: business leaders should know what their departments are capable of, shouldn’t they? In reality, though, it’s because PMO leaders are so involved in the detail that they need to make the time and space to do a thorough review of whether the PMO is continuing to meet its objectives, and whether those objectives are still fit for purpose.
A health check is a way of making sure that period of reflection actually happens, and that something useful comes out the other side of the process.
The benchmark data about where you are helps you and your team establish what changes and improvements you want to make next.
That leads us to…
2. You Can Road Map Where To Go Next
Your health check results are invaluable in helping plan the next evolution of your PMO. The output of spending time assessing where you and what you could be doing differently is that you get clarity on what to invest your time and resources in next.
You’ll be able to work through the recommendations, prioritizing which are the things you want to address and focus on today, and which form part of a longer-term transformative effort for your PMO. Better still, the road map you produce gives senior leaders a clear statement of what you have achieved so far and how they can support you going forward. And of course, what the benefits of that support will be.
3. You Improve Alignment
By understanding where you are and where you want to go, you can improve the way you align the PMO’s activities with business drivers.
The questions we ask when we do a PMO Pulse Check help business leaders find out exactly how well their programs and projects align to business drivers today. That’s the first step in understanding how to broach any gap and deliver better, closer, working relationships with the people delivering strategic initiatives every day.
4. You Deepen Understanding
A PMO health check doesn’t just look at what projects and programs your teams are managing, but also on the processes used to do the work. Typically the person doing the health check would look at initiation, planning, monitoring and control, and closeout processes and what they uncover there can give you real, actionable insights into how better to support project managers.
You’ll also get a better understanding of how the outputs of the PMO are used by senior management to make decisions. Just the simple knowledge of what happens to data once it leaves the PMO can make it easier for you to deliver better business value, more targeted and relevant information and build better relationships with the stakeholders you serve.
This is the kind of information that will help your team understand why they do their jobs and how they are contributing to helping the business meet its overall goals and objectives.
5. You Get An Independent Assessment
Finally, a huge benefit of a health check is the opportunity to talk to an independent party. There is no axe to grind. There is no hidden agenda. There is no need to rush through things or move on to the next project.
Using an experienced, professional third party to do a PMO health check is a fast way to find out how you compare to organizations similar to yours. You can draw on their wealth of experience because they’ve seen all kinds of PMOs in all kinds of situations, and they know what works.
Even if you are an experienced PMO leader, having someone look at your set up with fresh eyes and no judgement will give you a much-valued independent opinion. It’s a truism that the closer you are to something, the harder it is to see the bigger picture (that’s why someone else should always proof-read your slide decks before a presentation: being too close to the detail means you won’t be able to spot the typos even if they are staring you in the face).
The person running your health check is there to help you succeed and to help your PMO succeed. As someone coming new to your business, they have a unique opportunity to spot things that others can’t.
And they’ll leave you with actionable, relevant steps that you can quickly put into practice to move on the maturity of your PMO.
Just like your car service, it’s worth taking the time to run a health check on your Project Management Office. It’s fast, painless and the insights it delivers will help you jump your team to the next level of productivity and performance. Why don’t you book some time for one in your calendar now?