By: Jennie Fowler, Global Director, Project Management Office | 04/26/2021 |

As some of you know, I recently joined Percepta at the beginning of this year. Our Global Project Management Office “GPMO” is overall fairly young… as the process in use today essentially began a few years back. I’m excited about my new team and the stakeholder support to truly influence our project management functions across the globe to prepare for the ‘next era’. Industry experts state Project Management Offices will evolve greatly over the next decade. The days of being a “Paperwork Management Office” are dwindling fast and furious! Wearing a Next Era lens, I’ll unpack ‘evolve’ a little and relate what it potentially means to PMO(s) in three buckets: now, near and far.

Now = 2021

To sum it up… the brand this year will be Project Management Office 2.0 (aka: PMO 2.0). The focus of PMO 2.0 is: Be Brilliant at the Basics!  We should be maturing our project management craft with an intentional emerging discipline. Some compelling drivers are consistency, simplification (only lean processes that provide value), one-pagers, etc.  On the ‘people’ front… take a deep dive with project managers down the Emotional Intelligence journey with a keen eye on self-awareness.  EQ focus will enable a project manager to elevate their overall competency from coordinating projects to managing / leading teams. One year from now, at the end of the PMO 2.0 journey, the project management team will be stronger outcome drivers!

Near = 2022 – 2023

Next, let’s tackle PMO 3.0 and 4.0.  The focus of these next two milestones are: 1) Drive with Data on the ‘process’ front and 2) Prepare for Scale on the ‘people & technology’ front.  The discipline will be with a gear toward effective integration.  What this means is:  have we automated as much as we logically can along the lines of project management tasks, reports, PPM tool usage etc.  Enabling Executive Management to make project/program/product decisions that are strategic and proactive in nature. For project managers – further prepare beyond the textbook craft… by leading strategically as a visionary change agent with an agile mindset. Last, but not least… we all need to keep an eye on the optimization of our technology tools. By the end of 2023, my vision is that PMO 4.0 will be a highly mature “PMO” organization on any maturity model!

Free tip for Project Managers: beware – “Alexa” may take a tiny portion of your job!  Example: “Alexa, move task #7 to next week in the project plan”!! (It’s coming – so, don’t get caught only knowing how to coordinate projects – become an expert at LEADING business value & outcomes)!

Far = 2024 & beyond

In some ways 2024 seems far away – but, in the same blink…. It’s just around the corner! Gartner advises that once a “PMO” has reached a maturity level of 4 ‘ish… they may likely be ready to evolve to a Strategy Realization Office “SRO”.  Project Managers will have evolved from being tactical task managers to focusing on delivering company strategic vision and results. This may take the form of a Scrum Master, a Product Manager or Product Owner, Agile Coach, Agile Program Manager, Organizational Change Leader, Transformation Leaders, and more.  A key here is to not get stuck on the term “PMO,” and focus on the value contribution, regardless of what the function is called and being flexible with multiple frameworks/methodologies. Gartner further recommends PMO Leaders ensure to understand that new technologies and systems (like IoT and AI) will impact what project/program work is done and how it is done.  Last, but, not least….. after Strategy Realization Office “SRO’s”… the maturity curve may lead us to “Enterprise Continuous Innovation Centers”.

In closing, while none of us have a crystal ball… as Leaders we do have a responsibility to plan for what the future may look like. Your roadmap should be flexible and evolve through the enjoyable journey. Here at Percepta, we will likely adopt a good portion of the above – as I’m confident we will ‘soon’ be a ‘PMO’ that industry peers look to as leading and inventing the path – in the craft of PMO / SRO!