Inside PMO: KPIs, Metrics and Measures

Inside PMO - KPIs, Metrics and MeasuresWe launched the latest Inside PMO Report last week at Project Challenge and it literally flew off the shelves.

It’s a subject that many PMO practitioners are interested in but gosh! what a tough subject to get to the bottom of.

It started with the questions around the PMO adding value [something I don’t like!] and how the PMO can demonstrate that.

It didn’t end up there because we had PMO Managers around the table letting us know about the realities of measuring the PMO.

And that’s the beauty of the reports we create. It’s not about the textbook approaches; it’s about the real everyday stuff that PMOs do.

Here are the conclusions of the report:

  1. The business is not interested in the minutiae of naval-gazing PMO metrics. What they’re interested in are the metrics that show them the goals for the delivery/change side of the business are being met.
  2. The PMO has a bigger role to play in helping the business to initially define metrics for portfolios, programmes and projects and ensure they are aligned to business KPIs and metrics.
  3. Focusing on metrics to demonstrate the value of the PMO has limited benefit to the PMO and the business.
  4. Time is better spent developing metrics which focus on the performance of the PMO, enabling the PMO Manager to work on improvements in the key areas.
  5. Numbers are not enough. The PMO needs to unpack the numbers and give them meaning by providing narratives, stories, insights and actions to help to demonstrate what the metrics really mean and how to improve on them.
  6. Organisations should stop focusing on the value the PMO brings to the organisation and focus more on the influence, impact and contribution the PMO makes to the organisation.
  7. The delivery of PMO services can be measured by the use of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  8. The Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework is a useful approach for setting goals for the PMO.
  9. The ability to gain insights from metrics requires that project data is clean, consistent and maintained.
  10. Do we need to accept that some ‘value’ metrics need to be done in some organisations where an initial business case was created to justify the PMO in the first place? If so, the collection and reporting of these value metrics should be limited to the early years of the PMO.
  11. Ensure the metrics the PMO reports on are still needed; are aligned to stretch goals as the delivery organisation matures; are simple and focused – choose a few that really show what the business needs to know.
  12. If your PMO is fairly new, don’t worry about KPIs for now, concentrate on collecting consistent data and learning how to interrogate it. If no one is asking for metrics, don’t sweat it unless you can clearly show that it is necessary and why.


Download Inside PMOWatch out for the video session of the talk we did last week at Project Challenge – it’ll be in your inbox later this week!

Join us for the next PMO Flashmob held at Parliment on the 25th April where we will be rolling up our sleeves and working on different goal setting techniques for the PMO [find out more here]

About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay is the founder of PMO Flashmob and a Director at PMO Learning - the sister company to PMO Flashmob and the best training company for PMO people in the world! She's also the creator of London's first dedicated PMO Conference; Director of Arras People and PMO enthusiast. Loves dogs and gin.

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