Recent research on project management indicates that the field is about to enter the spotlight. Once an isolated function, project management is quickly being elevated in strategic importance. According to analyst firm Gartner, by 2017 senior executives in the largest organizations in America will rely on enterprise program management offices (EPMOs) to execute projects in alignment with overall business strategy.
The business case is there, of course. An article in CIO Magazine by Moira Alexander of Conture Business Advisors cites Project Management Institute research illustrating that EPMOs are capable of significant ROI. Specifically, they are estimated to improve confirmation of business priorities and project alignment with strategic objectives by 10 percent.
If you wish to keep pace with your market and competition, it’s wise to adopt the EPMO model sooner rather than later. Paraphrased here are some initial ideas Moira Alexander recommends in her article.
The principal role of an EPMO is to ensure that all business units are engaging in initiatives that are in line with the company’s vision. Therefore, it’s more important than ever that PMOs gain a seat at every table in the organization. By being everywhere at all times and by leading company-wide planning sessions in which they are able to communicate the organization’s direction, traditionally siloed PMOs become EPMOs that deliver greater value to the business.
EPMOs work closely with senior management from the very beginning so that all projects throughout the organization tie directly to business goals. They are instrumental in helping executives determine what matters to the organization and establish key performance indicators so that these priorities are measured and monitored properly.
This means that the executive management team must view the EPMO as a strategic partner that reports in directly and has full access, rather than just another business unit that happens to be project-based. Senior management and the EPMO should maintain an ongoing conversation so that business objectives and projects never fall out of alignment.
For more on the movement toward EPMOs, head over to Intuit's Fast Track blog.