PMOs that collate data across all projects in their portfolio have a wealth of information. This can help to form the foundation of a data driven PMO. Identifying key additional data that allows meaningful analysis is key to progress. Going on to use this pool to establish how well projects align to the organisation’s objectives. Addressing market needs and customer demands is at the core of the PMO becoming an extremely valuable function. Can your PMO become a keystone to success.
Your current data collection
In providing current services you must collect some information on projects. Ideally you have budgets, plans, risks and likely benefits captured. Financial information should be one of the easiest elements to collect. Liaising with your internal accounting team will help to eliminate duplication of effort. All projects should have plans and with actuals allowing you to record performance against expected outcome. Hence performance against plan will then inform future forecasts for delivery and allow the tuning of resource management. Risk data across projects allows an organisation view of project and possibly change risk. Measuring benefits post project will allow a longer-term matrix of project success.
Where you have a mature pipeline process you have information on how projects match corporate goal. Your pipeline data could also be expanded to provide market information.
Few PMOs collect a full set of data. The real trick is getting the right sets of data with minimum overhead.
Establishing data set to address key objectives
There is little point in collecting masses of data just to produce static reports that generate no action. The data set you might need to expand will overlap with your product or service development. Data collected must assist the organisation in one or more of the following:-
- improving customer experience, both internal and external
- developing new products and services
- ensuring the organisations compliance to regulation
- improving business process
- securing or expanding your market share.
The data driven PMO will make a major step in providing value to the organisation. Executive management need to engage with the process to ensure effective use of data. Senior stakeholders must ask the right questions. But once these parties are engaged you have a foundation to build on.
What stops you from being a data driven PMO
There maybe a series of things stopping you from using data effectively within your PMO. But whatever the reason your PMO has for not providing this service; you need to be aware that PMOs in your competitors will. Your PMO will not survive as a reporting and administration support function only. PMOs continue to be disbanded and recycled because they do not offer expected value. If you offer a good and evolving service aligned to business need then both your team and organisation will benefit.
There is likely to be a change management piece to your introduction of this service. Some of your key stakeholders will not immediately understand what you are trying to do. But the use of good project and change management in making this move will help to establish a good foundation.