Business-Driven PMO in Action

Lionel Grealou Operations Strategy 2 minutes

Business-driven Project Management Offices (PMOs) charged with enabling or delivering successful transformational projects and strategic programs can make the difference between thriving organizations and those that fail to survive.

PMOs that do not continuously re-invent themselves are turning into Business as Usual (BaU) or tactical PMOs. These are rather cost-oriented, task-centric, focusing on hygiene support functions, project policing, compliance, broad enterprise scope, automation, IT deliverables and execution control. While there is nothing wrong with that, their mandate, scope and value-added purpose differ significantly from business-driven PMOs.

In contrast, business-driven PMOs are result-oriented, portfolio-centric, focusing on time to value, project selection, adoption and business-facing communication. Business change leaders require this type of PMO services to enable their decision-making process, think out-of-the-box. They are supported by real-time business intelligence for business performance monitoring and benefits realization and ‘before-the-fact analytics’ for strategic investment planning. There are important benefits in segregating tactical from business-driven support functions:

  • Aligning portfolio with business objectives (prioritize, weight, assess).
  • Focus on strategic initiative, programs and portfolios – with clear hand-over of BaU and tactical Kaizen projects.
  • Measuring mainly what matters and keeping it simple.
  • Allocating resources effectively – also linked to “right-sourcing” (the right outsourcing strategy).
  • Encouraging user adoption and productivity.
  • Driving business benefits and change with business stakeholders, adopting a customer value-oriented mindset (metrics and scorecards such as contribution to revenue/ROI, time to market, time to value, customer satisfaction, and business investment risk).

Strategic PMOs are another type of business-driven management office which focus on high impact / high visibility with executive level strategies, business, processes, pain points, risks, portfolios and programs.

Setting-up a PMO is fairly straight forward (the 15 pillar methodology “PMO-in-a-box” can be applied and tailored to the needs and context).

What are your thoughts?

This post was originally published on LinkedIn on 14 February 2015.

About the Author

Lionel Grealou


Lionel Grealou, a.k.a. Lio, helps original equipment manufacturers transform, develop, and implement their digital transformation strategies—driving organizational change, data continuity and process improvement, managing the lifecycle of things across enterprise platforms, from PDM to PLM, ERP, MES, PIM, CRM, or BIM. Beyond consulting roles, Lio held leadership positions across industries, with both established OEMs and start-ups, covering the extended innovation lifecycle scope, from research and development, to engineering, discrete and process manufacturing, procurement, finance, supply chain, operations, program management, quality, compliance, marketing, etc.

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