Continuous ImprovementProject Management Office

4 Steps to Measure PMO Performance

“I’ll know it when I see it” is not always the best approach to measuring success in business. A PMO particularly will want to measure its performance, in order to be able to prove it is providing value to the business. A post at PM Majik shares four steps to effective measuring:

  1. Reflect upon the PMO’s objectives and why it was set up in the first place.
  2. For each major objective, pick out a metric that will illustrate when the objective has been met.
  3. Create a process to capture and track these metrics on a regular basis.
  4. Report progress regularly.

Track and Verify

PMOs are established for many different reasons, such as improving project delivery times, controlling project costs, implementing a standardized project methodology, or improving project reporting. Whatever objectives the executives have in mind, they should be at the forefront of your measurement planning. For each objective, you should pair a relevant metric:

Taking the example [of] reduce the number of projects that deliver late.  A measure could be to take the previous [year’s] projects and calculate how many finished late [e.g.] 40 out of 100.  This equates to 40% of the previous [year’s] projects finished late.  You may even want to take the average for the last 3 years to give a more accurate view of a typical year.

The next step would be to perform the same calculation for the current year.  If the percentage finishing late is less than 40%, you can demonstrate that you have achieved the objective.

The author does note though that there are often better ways to measure than this one, in that the method described above requires people to wait around for a year. As such, metrics should be recorded and reported regularly (as in—not yearly). The importance of regularity and standardization of metrics reporting is that it allows for crucial trend analysis, meaning risks and opportunities will be addressed sooner and more effectively. Such reporting also increases the PMO’s credibility and demonstrates the organization’s capability.

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