Determining PMO Excellence with Just One Question

Eventually, every PMO is asked “Can our organization take on this project?” How quickly, confidently, and comprehensively your PMO answers that simple question tells you everything you need to know about the maturity, efficiency, and process excellence of your PMO.


Five Categories of Data

To answer that critical question with confidence for any new project, one must have ready access to five categories of data 

1. Projects. You must have a list of all your active projects with awareness of who is working on what, when they are rolling off and then available for a new project. Also, project start/end dates, and estimated/actual work hours. 

2. Demand. You must have a prioritized list of all projects in the pipeline with their stakeholder. Additionally, each potential project or “Idea” on the demand list should have an estimate for each role assumed for the project. 

3. Capacity, Resources and Roles. Obviously, you need to know the organizational capacity of your team in order to deliver. Not only do you need a list of team members, but you also need to know what role they fill on the project: project manager, architect, business analyst, developer, etc.   

4. Time Management. You should know how much time people have billed to their active projects to date and how much work is left to complete and determine whether it can be completed by the project end date. 

5. Budget. If you have budgetary responsibility, you need to ensure your Demand list includes the estimated cost for each project and the Stakeholder has the budget for this new project.

Maturity of the Organization

Considering these five categories of data, how hard would it be for your organization to answer the question?   If you have a Portfolio and Project Management (PPM) tool, it would be easier to answer the question provided you have clearly defined the data and maintain the data in the tool.  Keep in mind the data alone cannot provide an accurate answer to the question if the processes that feed the PPM tool are not mature.  Poorly defined processes can lead to data quality issues.  And data quality issues can reduce the level of confidence in your answer. 

Reviewing these five categories of data makes clear the value of a Portfolio & Project Management (PPM) tool. With or without a PPM tool, answering the question promptly indicates process and PMO maturity. Answering the question by way of a fire-drill meeting with everyone stuck on a Zoom for hours is inefficient, exhausts your team and shows what’s missing in your PMO. 

PTS is experienced in ensuring that its clients have the appropriate processes and data to help them answer questions about capacity and demand for critical projects across a complex portfolio. Contact PTS to book a consultation with one or our consultants to discuss your Governance and PMO needs.



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Author: Joanna Kolis

Role: Senior Consultant

Location: Boston

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