42. PMO vision

August 21, 2012

PMO Definition

PMO VisionOver recent years, more and more organisations have decided to set-up PMO’s.  Some are purely for individual projects and programmes.  However, increasingly they are being set-up on a permanent basis.  Therefore, given that this involves an investment by the organisation, it is important to maximise the benefit delivered.

When a decision is taken to commence a project or programme, it is usually that somebody has an idea, a vision of what they want delivered.  You will often see “vision statements” included in presentations and business cases to help gain support for the project.  Therefore, if a decision is taken to invest in a PMO, the same logic should apply, more value can be gained and more support, if there is a clear PMO vision.

What is a PMO Vision?

Very simply, it is a short aspirational description of what an organisation would like to achieve as a result of forming a PMO.   As the statement is short, a single paragraph or up to half a dozen bullets, it is important that the words are chosen carefully.  The words need to strongly convey what the service and culture of the PMO will look like over time.

Why it helps?

Spending quality time considering the PMO vision statement, will help shape what type of PMO an organisation would like to build so that it is best aligned to support the strategic objectives of an organisation.  This is a good investment as the last thing an organisation should do is march ahead building a PMO that may not be fit for purpose.  This would be a waste of time and money.

By capturing the vision statement, it allows the stakeholders to review and validate how the proposed PMO will align to their requirements.  This is a good test as sometimes stakeholders don’t know why they are asking for a PMO and it helps them collect their thoughts.

Where to capture a PMO Vision statement?

When a strong statement is agreed, it can then be communicated within the organisation.  This allows everyone to understand the vision for the PMO and, if the statement is published by senior management, provides the person tasked with setting up the PMO will the all important mandate.

Good places to capture the PMO vision statement is in a PMO charter or terms of reference.  It should also be used in any presentations and posted on the central PMO intranet site.

Consistent message

When you have agreed the PMO vision statement, it is important that it becomes part of the culture, DNA of the PMO.  Make sure that all PMO members and stakeholders are aware of the statement.  When making decisions, be mindful to ensure that they are aligned to the vision.  Don’t just forget about the statement, this is a sure way of not achieving the long term objective.

What does a PMO vision statement look like

The statement can take many forms and must be written for your organisation.  Don’t just ‘lift’ a statement from another firm.  All organisations are different and the statement should really reflect the personality and strategic vision.

The statement can be a single sentence, a paragraph or bullets.  The key is that it must be powerful and convey the vision of the organisation that is easy to understand and for people to connect with.

A PMO statement may look like:

The PMO supports the implementation of the organisations strategic objectives by providing a full set of professional PMO services.  Working in partnership with project teams, stakeholders and sponsors to attain successful outcomes. 

Conclusion

A PMO vision statement is a powerful tool for conveying the purpose, style and vision of a PMO.  It acts as a great reference point to ensure the PMO is aligned to the overall objectives of the organisation.

Please take time to view post 27. PMO purpose, vision and design principles for more information on this topic.

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About Simon

Founder of practical PMO with a passion to share insights on designing and building practical, pragmatic PMO's. Posted by Simon Wilkinson, PMP

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