How to Build a Digital PMO in 5 Steps

Woman looking at computer screen analysing data and dashboards.

Digitizing your PMO can have multiple benefits. Learn how to build a digital PMO in 5 steps and make your digital PMO a success.

Now, more than ever, a digital PMO is needed to leverage technology in order to streamline project life-cycle management. The real-time coordination, collaboration, and sourcing of project data has become vital, providing the transparency, intelligence, and decision-making capabilities to drive change and power transformation across the enterprise. Having the right technology solution in place will also facilitate the centralization of legacy systems, through the use of APIs and other integrations.
If you’re considering digitizing your PMO here are five key steps you should take in order to make your digital PMO a success.

How to Build a Digital PMO in 5 Steps

1. Be methodology agnostic

Having an open mindset regarding methodologies is crucial—being methodology agnostic or developing a blended approach. Many organizations err in assuming they can seamlessly apply an off-the-shelf methodology like PMBOK, Prince2, Agile, Lean, or Six Sigma directly into their project portfolio management without customization. While these methodologies are beneficial, tailoring each to suit your organization’s project environment is vital for success.


Strive for a hybrid approach—melding a solid project management (PM) methodology with your internal procedures and organizational tools that best suit your needs. Achieving best practice PM isn’t instantaneous; it requires continual dedication. Learn from peer organizations’ experiences, seek guidance from your vendor, and explore international best practices, adapting them to suit your organizational structure and specific requirements.


This guide How to Implement Best-practice Digital Transformation Programs provides a detailed look at how you can get the right mix between people, processes and technology, identifying the five pillars of a successful digital transformation.

2. Communicate with your stakeholders

You need to communicate properly with your stakeholders. Sure projects will always be about being on time and on budget, but communicating with timely and informed project data is also a huge factor – in terms of progress, resource availability, and planning. We all know that with projects, the plan never works out. It’s all about being adaptable. You can only react intelligently if you have good project information easily to hand. It’s about re-invention – where we are consistently planning and re-planning. A pliable solution like Cora PPM gives you the flexibility to react effectively to changing circumstances.

3. People, process and technology

The software solution has to work hand in hand with your people and your process. A solution like Cora PPM cannot function effectively without the right people, buy-in from senior management – and in particular an influential project sponsor – and intelligent, flexible business processes.
Typically two out of three organizations that employ a PPM solution fail. It’s staggering. It’s invariably down to naivety. Your implementation has to be thought through, and critically you need a solution that is configurable to your business processes. This guide “Implementing A PPM: Best Practices for Mitigating the Myriad Risks” will help overcome those issues.
With Cora PPM, for example, we have a proven track record of tailoring an off-the-shelf project management solution to the organization itself, typically customizing about 20-40% of the solution with its experienced analysts and implementation consultants.

4. Knowing which projects to select from your pipeline

To make a digital PMO work well, you need the right project data to make correct decisions on a project’s prospects of failure or success. You need a tight handle on deliverables and resources. You’re looking for that insight, that visibility across your project pipeline. You need a PPM solution that will enable you to make strategic decisions about which projects should be prioritized and which projects should fail early – the ones that are a waste of resources and effort. Organizations struggle with accepting that projects fail. Invariably, they’ll leave it to the very last minute – or often when a project is actually finished – in accepting a project has failed.


This guide “Portfolio Planning Can Save Millions on Your Bottom Line” will help you understand the benefits of selecting the right projects and how to implement a Portfolio Planning process in their organization.


A sign of PPM maturity in an organization is when they have enough visibility of their project pipeline that they can make strategic decisions and recognise that early failure can be a positive thing. They can’t make those decisions unless they have immediate insight into their project portfolios. When you have a proven solution like Cora PPM it gives you that visibility into your pipeline’s performance.

5. A Single version of the truth

Cora PPM, which manages over €20 billion in projects daily on its platform across more than 50 countries around the globe, offers when it comes to powering your digital PMO is it provides a helicopter view of your organization’s project data. It provides that critical “single version of the truth” – it enables your project managers to drill down on project information at a glance to gain visibility of your projects, your programs, and more strategically at a portfolio level. They can pull together reports in seconds rather than days, allowing them to focus instead on value-added work and insight.

Find Out More

See how Cora can transform your PMO watch a recorded demo.

Further Insights

Learn more about Cora Systems Portfolio Planning Software here.

To listen to our latest Project Management Paradise Podcast episode on Spotify and Apple.

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