This November, MPUG was fortunate to have attended the PMI® PMO Symposium® 2017 in Houston, Texas. We were joined by hundreds of Project Managers, PMO Leaders, Managers, and Executives, who collectively attended over 80 sessions and workshops. The 4-day event focused on Agile Transformation and the Evolving PMO. One of our top goals was to gather some information and thoughts from attendees to share with the MPUG community. In between sessions and networking, we were able to do just that.

Interestingly enough, many results were similar to the MPUG community survey. Over 84 percent of attendees told us that overseeing project communication (including reporting) is the most important duty of a PMO. This was followed by project portfolio management (69 percent) and defining and maintaining PM standards (58 percent).

These three duties lead the list of PMO responsibilities. Also important were overseeing budgetary aspects of projects (32 percent), evaluating and adopting project management tools (21 percent), addressing specific project management problems (15 percent), and training and certifying project managers (10 percent).

Only one respondent stated that their PMO is “completely effective” in meeting all of these needs. The majority stated that they feel their PMO is either “mostly effective” (47 percent) or “somewhat effective” (42 percent).

Finally, we asked everyone to identify an area of improvement that they would like to focus on in their own PMO. Going along with the theme of the event, a large number of respondents said their PMO should adopt or change to a specific methodology, such as Agile or an Agile/Waterfall hybrid approach. Some respondents thought that they wanted to see their PMO more effectively helping with personal development for team members including training and certifications. We also heard that staying up to speed with industry trends is of significant importance. More respondents listed the following as needing areas of improvement:

  • Preparation for industry disruption
  • Training for PMP and other certifications
  • Taking PMO to next level
  • Reflecting changes in marketplace
  • Expanding the PMO from only IT departments to the entire organization
  • A focus on less projects at one time
  • Showing value of the PMO to upper management
  • Better communication
  • Staying up to speed with changes in the industry
  • Improved industry strategy
  • Project Manager training

Many PMO Symposium attendees expressed gratitude and excitement to have the chance to network and discuss these topics with others. The value of hearing what has and hasn’t worked for others that may have done something similar was great. Discussing common struggles and solutions brought attendees together, as they learned there are so many others in a similar evolutionary position within their PMO.

What improvement(s) do you think would benefit your PMO the most? Share your ideas with the MPUG community in the comments below.


Related Content

Webinars (watch for free now!):
Tactical Guide for Building a PMO – How to Run a Successful PMO
Showing PMO Love Through Monitoring and AUtomation

Articles:
Top 10 Best Practices for Managing Project Schedules Within a PMO
Your Guide to PMOs
The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO – How to Shutdown a PMO