How to Build a PMO Roadmap
The business landscape has never before been so competitive or complex. The emergence of new technologies is more rapid than ever before, and more companies are under pressure to deliver an increasing number of products in a shorter timeline with fewer resources.
In such a competitive marketplace, companies are diversifying to grow market share, stay in business, and maintain strong returns to shareholders. This requires balancing multiple projects, often outside a business’ core competence.
One department or business unit that is a critical component of most enterprise-level businesses is the Project Management Office (PMO). Whether the PMO is an internal department or an external organisation, it plays a vital role in the management of projects by standardising processes and improving overall efficiency.
Each organisation has different challenges and needs when considering what capability is needed to deliver its portfolio of projects more effectively. The key capabilities that a PMO typically supports are:
- Portfolio prioritisation, planning and budgeting
- Processes, standards and methodologies
- Governance and reporting
- Training and development
- Project support teams
- Software and systems
- Mentoring and coaching
- Workforce planning and resource management
If you’d like to learn more about the various operating model designs for PMOs, we would recommend learning more about Axelos, Portfolio, Programme and Project Office Framework (P3O) Framework, which provides a globally recognised and proven baseline of how effective projects should be run. In addition, you can get accredited by registering for our foundation and practice course.
Why You Need a PMO Roadmap
EPMO and PMO functions or services can lose focus over time, become increasingly administrative, or be misaligned with the organisation’s goals/delivery strategy.
With many organisations seeking greater agility, PMOs may need to transition from traditional delivery models to provide more flexible services and lead change. To remain relevant, PMOs need to demonstrate increased performance in six key areas:
- Aligning project portfolios to business outcomes
- Managing risk and reducing uncertainty
- Driving business change
- Demonstrating value
- Continuously improving services
- Delivering customer service excellence
Before deciding on whether you need to overhaul or optimise your existing PMO, MetaPM would recommend conducting a baseline or assessment of your ‘current state’. You may already have a framework or approach to this, or alternatively, you can apply our complimentary ‘Interactive PMO Maturity Assessment’. The Assessment will take no more than 5 minutes to complete and is designed to quickly identify opportunities to improve performance, align services, develop new capabilities and set you up for success.
Clients have said it helps ‘find their PMO Operational Model sweet spot’ and provides a high-level roadmap and implementation plan for getting there.
How To Build a PMO Roadmap
The PMO Roadmap is a plan that outlines the company’s vision and how to get there, including deliverables and objectives. The roadmap provides a sense of direction, defining the tasks and activities that have to be completed to achieve the desired goals and outcomes.
The most efficient way to achieve this is to start with a roadmap, which visually represents the plan and all its essential elements. These include the timeline, the strategic investments along the way, the personnel involved and their key activities, the movements of resources, and other planned activities.
All roadmaps have a similar appearance, with the same important elements in common, such as a timeline and a graphical representation of the various elements across the timeline. To be effective, the roadmap must distil a lot of complex information into one easy-to-understand document. All roadmaps have the following features in common:
- A time-phased view
- Functional integration
- Automatic updates
A Time Phased View
The roadmap has to show the current and planned strategies in a clear timeline so that progress can be seen quickly and lifecycles and growth can be better communicated. Exceeding or failing to meet deadlines should be clearly seen. The time phases have to be flexible and annual or quarterly at the strategic level, or monthly, even weekly, at a more detailed level.
For a PMO, every piece of work, every priority, depends on other plan elements. The dependencies must be managed effectively and clearly shown on the roadmap, along with relationships that must be explored and illustrated.
Dependency management is an integral part of planning. There aren’t just single dependencies; the entire organisation is interconnected in a network of interdependencies. The dependencies must be displayed on roadmaps accurately. Roadmapping should be integrated with the other elements of an organisation’s strategic portfolio management and software rather than as a separate, standalone function.
Organisations will use different roadmaps across the enterprise, and there must be relationships between them. The roadmapping software must allow for the connection between priorities, investments, capabilities, and functionality.
Milestones are essential elements of roadmaps at all levels. They represent vital targets and serve as a measurement that confirms progress towards longer-term goals or identifies the potential need to adjust plans and strategies.
Milestones combine with the timeline element of roadmaps to represent the success criteria at a certain point. They can also be viewed in combination with dependencies to improve understanding of what must be achieved to deliver each milestone and assess where progress barriers are occurring.
Roadmaps are intended to be actively managed by individuals, adjusting plans in response to evolving situations, changing priorities and new opportunities. But the roadmap tool being used by the organisation must also integrate with other enterprise solutions to automatically update performance and completion information on strategic initiatives, changes, etc. This ‘agile roadmap’ ability, driven by automatic updates, is the key to effective roadmapping.
Roadmapping is Easy
The mechanics of creating a roadmap are easy—or at least they are if you use the right tools. But that doesn’t mean that the process is straightforward.
Effective roadmap development is dependent on an organisation having clarity of its goals and objectives, support of key business and project stakeholders and an agreed framework and approach.
A practical roadmap provides clarity by allowing the project stakeholders to review plans together, make adjustments instantly, and assess the implications of any potential changes.
If you’re interested in learning more about designing and implementing PMO functions and processes, then MetaPM is here to help. Get in touch today.