Why PMOs still struggle to manage strategic priorities

I recently asked myself how many times, in the past year, have I read that PMOs need to ensure programs and projects are delivering value. Which leads to the thought, well of course, but how? As I read these various publications, the answer became clear: they need to align to business strategy, goals or objectives.

Think beyond this past year, and you, like myself, may recall reading, hearing or discussing this exact same thing time and time again.  It is a hot topic every few years. Each time it is brought back, a new “gimmick” is used to grab attention, which leads me to think there is something new to be found that I somehow missed before. Yet, I am reminded the solution has been there the whole time. Align your projects and knowledge-based work to your strategy (seems simple enough) but what is missing is how to do it. What these PMO solutions ignore the full scope of the challenge and leave out the tactical application of how to fix it.

Strategic Prioritization

The breakdown comes in the "alignment challenge" where the root of the issue happens. What is missing from the scope of these solutions is deciding what priorities are needed to realize your organization's strategy. This is the hardest part.

You can plan all you want, but it comes down to those decisions that are made on the front lines of day to day work and not at an executive level. You choose, I choose, we all choose daily what gets our attention and focus. People delivering on project and knowledge-based work are often not given the level of context needed to best make those day-to-day decisions on what to work on, and may not even know or understand what the priorities are.

This all leads to the management of portfolio, programs, and projects in the PMO world. There is a process within strategic and business planning to set priorities and put them in context - a critical piece to delivering and measuring value. It is the Strategy to Execution (S2E) process. To learn more about this and what is needed to deliver it, register for our webinar in June below.

squeaky_webinarAccelare Upcoming Webinar:

Do you have what it takes to know when to grease or replace the squeaky wheel?
Learn how some companies are filtering the noise from the squeaky wheel and rationing a portion of spending to build needed future state capabilities. Register now for webinar on Friday, June 8, 2018 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. Webinar leaders will be Amber Román and Richard Lynch

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