Create case studies
that will help future
PMOs define their own
charters, goals and
measures of success,
suggests Steve Clark,
Virginia, USA. “It helps
other divisions see the
benefit of going down
PMOs at Siemens begin with standardized principles and guidelines that are the
same across the organization. However,
PMO directors are encouraged to tailor their
processes to meet their group’s unique
needs. “Siemens provides the framework,
and we implement it in a way that makes
sense for our organizational needs,” Mr.
But with that freedom comes responsibility and accountability. Every PMO must
be able to demonstrate the value it brings
to the organization through measurable
results based on the goals laid out in its
charter. “If you don’t have measures, you
don’t know your value,” Mr. McDevitt says.
That value must be delivered in a set
time frame. At Siemens, it’s recommended
that every PMO be chartered for two years.
At that point, executives reevaluate the
PMO’s mission to be sure it has delivered
the benefits it set out to provide, and that it
continues to drive value.
“Most of our PMO leaders go in understanding they have about 24 months to
deliver benefits,” Mr. McDevitt says.
If the reviews show that the PMO has
met its goals, senior management then
decides to either disband the office, or set
new goals and expectations for the next 24
“It keeps the PMOs aggressive, so they
are always going after new benefits,” Mr.
McDevitt says. That may mean focusing
on Six Sigma training or lean principles,
or continuing to make its business unit’s
processes more efficient.
A COURSE IN FINANCE
When the organization’s project management methodologies aren’t followed, nonconformance costs accrue.
Mr. Letavec came up with a strategy to
combat this: He puts his project managers
through financial lessons.
“Many of our project managers have
bottom-line responsibility for executing
projects to schedule and profit targets, so
they have to understand their costs and
what will impact those costs,” he says.
Finance lessons help them make the
connection between project decisions and
bottom-line results. Mr. Latavec also partners project leaders with a financial professional and/or a quality manager on major
initiatives, so that together they can make
decisions that balance quality, cost and
The PMO also tracks historic occurrences of issues that cause nonconformance
on projects, and the costs of those issues.
Then it creates process-improvement strategies to avoid repeating those mistakes.
Having that baseline enables the PMO to
identify opportunities for improvement that
will deliver the most value, and track the
actual monetary value of those efforts.