UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Shaking The Traditional PMO… Like A Polaroid Picture

Written by Hubie Sturtevant on November 21st, 2014 at 10:56 am

BoothThe UMT360 team just returned from the PMO Symposium in South Florida, where we met lots of folks interested in learning about transforming their PMO. Symposium attendees stopping by the UMT360 booth learned about the benefits of establishing a strategic PMO and participated in the UMT360 PMO Maturity Assessment. The assessment survey helps organizations picture themselves on the continuum of establishing a strategic PMO. Literally. Because after taking the survey, each participant placed an old-school Polaroid selfie on the UMT360 booth corresponding to their score, showing how each respondent measured up against their peers. A majority of respondents clustered in the area that indicates they understand the importance of digitalizing investment planning & controls across the PPM lifecycle. And even though not as many respondents have connected their enterprise portfolios to drive complete visibility & insight, these survey results indicate that many organizations are at least heading in the right direction:

  • Clearly, a central project repository that captures, scores and consolidates competing project requests and manage demand is important to our respondents. 34% have already automated this, and another 47% are doing this with manual processes. About one in five admitted they don’t do this at all.


  • An annual planning process that optimizes portfolios to align investments with strategy is another capability that over 80% of respondents do now, but ¾ of those are still using manual methods.


  • Less than 20% use automated status reporting and performance tracking to help them free up time to analyze portfolios and take corrective action. The vast majority (58%) still use processes that require them to manually reconcile data and build reports, with one in four admitting that they don’t even do that.


  • Only 11% use an automated process to conduct regular reviews to help guide corrective action and dynamically reallocate funds. About half say they are doing something like this using manual processes. Amazingly, over one third don’t do this it all, which should be troubling to any organization hoping to maximize portfolio ROI.


  • 45% of respondents currently have no benefits realization framework. Of the 55% telling us they are doing something to drive accountability and measure success, about 3/4 of those still rely on manual processes.


  • Perhaps the ultimate measure of the maturity of a PMO involves the degree to which projects are connected to associated business capabilities, products and IT assets. Only 14% are confident that they can ensure visibility across all enterprise portfolios, have transparency into spend, and can measure the impact of cross portfolio initiatives. About half are working toward this, but are hampered by manual processes. 38% have done nothing to connect their enterprise portfolios.


So what did we learn? A small percentage of respondents have both digitalized investment planning & controls and are connecting enterprise portfolios. However, about 80% of those taking the survey still have a tremendous opportunity to transform their PMO by shaking off the unreliable planning, cost overruns and project failures that are the hallmark of the traditional PMO. It all starts by taking strategic responsibility of your organization’s business investments, then automating those processes and connecting those portfolios. Have a question, tip or idea about transforming your PMO? Let us know in the comments section below.

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