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The Current State of Project Management Offices

Creating an effective, productive project management office (PMO) is a key concern for many organizations. The Project Management Institute (PMI) released a 2012 pulse of project management report that examines the current trends of more than 1,000 project management professionals. Some of the survey findings suggest that there are five key areas where PMOs are focusing their attention:

  1.    renewing focus on talent development to grow and gain a competitive advantage in new markets; 
  2.    in tight economic conditions, ensuring good project portfolio management;
  3.    as organizations strive for agility, developing change management and project risk management as core competencies;
  4.    to achieve organizational agility, increasing iterative/incremental project management methods;
  5.    despite tight economic conditions, increasing a focus on benefits realization as a project/program metric.

Yet, despite an organization’s focus and dedication to effective project management, only 64% of projects meet their original goals, according to the survey. Yet there are several critical success factors that lead to successful project execution:

  •    talent—staffing the team with the right people,
  •    project management basics—creating a realistic implementation plan,
  •    executive sponsorship—ensuring top-level management support,
  •    focus on benefits—defining expected benefits from the project,
  •    change management—effectively managing change associated with the project.

This past week, APQC hosted the Effective Project Management Offices Best Practices Study knowledge transfer session. In this two-day meeting, we shared the results with the study’s sponsors and best-practice partners. The study report will be available to members and non-members during the first quarter of 2013, and it will contain several best practices and critical success factors that lead to outstanding project management performance. Until that report releases, refer to our collection of information on project management: Project and Program Management (Collection).