stories and seek the
visible backing of other
supportive of the
—Pinkie Nolan, PMP, Hoag Memorial Hospital
Presbyterian, Newport Beach, California, USA
How can EPMO leaders get
crucial buy-in from the C-suite?
Mr. Nadler: You have to understand what the drivers
are behind installing the EPMO. You have to go away
from the mindset that it’s all about processes and governance and structure, and de;ne what business value
you can add for the executive stakeholders.
Mr. Laliberte: You need to speak the C-suite language and lead and run your EPMO like a business.
When you think about the massive investment you
hold for strategic initiatives, track and talk about the
time-to-business case to show how much time it takes
to get the decision to proceed. Track and talk about
time-to-market to show how fast (or slow) it takes you
to start realizing the expected bene;ts. Talk about the
delivery and ;nancial performance of the entire portfolio, respective risks and opportunities to ensure the
optimal allocation of resources and dollars.
Mr. Bulger: Selling the EPMO to the C-suite is hard.
Elevating your EPMO leader to chief project o;cer
allows the portfolio of the organization to have visibility at the highest level. It balances the senior
leadership team with a position that acts as a
hyphen between many of the organizational silos
at the table such as ;nance, human resources,
operations, legal, etc. ;e mutual respect of
peers helps greatly to obtain the buy-in needed
to move the portfolio along.
What’s the best way to quickly
maintain or rebuild buy-in when
there’s C-suite turnover?
Mr. Laliberte: Two ways. First, have an executive onboarding
program. If there’s a new executive sponsor tied to a large and
complex initiative, we go through an onboarding program to
ensure they understand what will be expected of them in the
various phases of the life cycle, as well as the time obligation
that is required of them. Second, have a strong portfolio management governance cadence in place as a standard practice in
all businesses. ;at way, if they’re moving from one area of the
organization to another, they know what to expect and look
for, as the experience will be the same.
Mr. Nadler: ;ere is no shortcut. With every change in senior
executives, assume you have to go back to square one. You
have to make sure you understand where the new CEO is
coming from and what problems he or she wants to solve, and
where they see potential or need for change.
Ms. Nolan: If the new C-suite member has had previous positive experiences with EPMOs and you can share the successes
that your EPMO has brought to this organization, then it may
not be that di;cult to maintain the buy-in you’ve already
achieved. However, if the new C-suite member is not familiar
with or not a fan of EPMOs, a potential strategy is to explain
how your EPMO has evolved and why it meets a critical need
of the organization. Share defensible, demonstrated success
stories and seek the visible backing of other C-suite members
supportive of the EPMO’s mission and role.