PMO Maturity: 5 Key Areas to Focus On 

Team meeting in an office with a woman writing on the whiteboard

According to an extensive survey conducted by the PMI and PwC, there are 5 key areas you need to focus on to help improve your PMO’s maturity. 

The Project Management Institute (PMI) teamed up with PwC to survey 4,000 project management professionals to produce their Global PMO Maturity Index. They asked them how often they performed a range of 23 activities within 5 specific areas, each of which is associated with value creation. The more often they performed those activities, the higher their score and the greater their PMO maturity. 

From this index, they were able to identify a clear cohort that represented the top 10% of PMOs. This group of high-performing PMOs was able to ensure that their organizations coped far more successfully with any of those recent disruptions. While ensuring that those organizations continue to lead the way in the sectors where they operate. 

There are then 5 core areas that PMOs need to focus on to improve PMO maturity, the first of which is governance.  

1. Governance 

The best PMOs produce a clearly defined governance framework explaining the policies they’ve put in place to ensure project visibility, assess risk and evaluate performance. Including the performance of the PMO itself. These policies need to be both clearly communicated and regularly assessed.  

Just as importantly, the PMO needs to be actively involved in shaping the organization’s strategic objectives. In this way, they can help ensure that resources are being deployed on projects that enable the company to deliver on those objectives.  

What that requires is C-suite support, and the best way to copper-fasten that connection is for the PMO to get C-suite representation themselves.  

“73% of the Top 10% have a C-suite-level role that represents the PMO.” – PMO Maturity Index 

This gives senior leadership regular and immediate access to the insights that the PMO can garner from that bird’s-eye view of a project and program that the office makes possible. Which helps the company to deploy its resources more effectively.  

2. Integration and Alignment 

Successful PMOs work with leadership to ensure that PMO processes are implemented across all of the different departments and business units. This means that, as far as possible, everyone uses the same structures to evaluate performance and measure progress. This helps PMOs and senior management to track milestones and flag any issues across a project’s lifecycle.  

It was this sort of strategic alignment that enabled that top 10% to help their organizations deal with the disruption caused by the pandemic.  

When departments are strategically aligned with an organization’s overall objectives, it enables everyone to respond quicker and move faster when something unforeseen emerges to disrupt plans.  

3. Processes 

Team meeting in an office brain storming ideas on a desk with paper.

The most effective PMOs ensure that there is a consistency to the processes employed across an organization, so that everyone is using the same tools and works the same, standardized way. 

However, the more advanced PMOs are also capable of employing a level of flexibility. There are certain departments, such as Finance, that will need processes that are specific to their particular requirements.  

“92% of the Top 10% are continuously adapting tools, methodologies, and practices for different projects and teams.”PMO Maturity Index 

4. Technology and Data 

Digital transformation is fundamental for any company’s success today and the most effective PMOs rely on technology to provide them with the necessary tools.  

First and foremost, you’ll need to employ an up to date and sophisticated software solution. This enables you to organize all your data and documents through the one, central hub, and ensures that everything is kept up to date and is immediately accessible. 

However, the growing importance of AI throughout the world of business, in everything from automation, copilots, the (industrial) internet of things and the smart factories that result, means that data is going to be even more important if you want to gain a competitive advantage than it is now.  

5. People 

The skilled labor shortage is as much of a challenge for PMOs as it is for every other function. What the PMI research shows is that rather than passively accepting that this is just something that everybody has to deal with, the most effective PMOs are the ones who are actively taking steps to address this. 

Specifically, what this research shows is that the way that the top 10% of PMOs address this is by providing resources for existing project managers to upskill and retrain. And that: 

“69% promote a continuous learning culture and 64% provide in-house coaching, mentoring, and shadowing.”PMO Maturity Index 

All in all, what this survey illustrates is that the most successful PMOs use all five of the areas above to harness the talent they have and to make the most profitable use of all their resources. It concludes: 

“Evolved PMOs embrace new technology, focus on team culture, and help develop project managers into ambassadors for value creation.” -PMO Maturity Index 

Cora PPM and the PMO 

Cora PPM provides PMOs with the ideal tool for generating the maximum ROI. It digitizes all your data and centralizes all your documents, so that everything is organized through the one, central hub. Everything is updated in real time and is immediately accessible. 

It streamlines all your processes, integrates any existing software seamlessly and ensures that everyone works in the same, standardized way, and off the same facts and figures.  

And because Cora is a no code low code platform, you’re guaranteed immediate buy-in from across your organization.  

Find out more about Cora PPM

Related Insights

two male telecom engineers wearing yellow hard hats and blue all in ones fixing wires.

Evolution of the PMO with Jackie Glynn

In this week’s edition of the Project Management Paradise Podcast we speak to Jackie Glynn, Head of the PMO at Three Ireland.

4 people having a team discussion in an office. Pointing at the paperwork on the table. Purple and pink Cora logo in the back centre of image.

7 Benefits of a PMO / Project Management Office

Organizations today can enjoy a high level of project success through the establishment of a Project Management Office (PMO).

Finance team having a meeting at a table discussing work. The team consists of two men and one woman. Pink and purple lens graphic in the background.

8 Benefits of Enterprise PMO Software 

The right enterprise PMO software solves problems before they occur. Explore the benefits of enterprise project management software here.

A lady with blonde hair wearing glasses working on her laptop with a pink and blue cora lens circling her

9 Enterprise PMO Best Practices & Tips

The right enterprise PMO software solves problems before they occur. Explore the benefits of enterprise project management software here.

Aerospace & Defense Projects An image of an Aeroplane in a hanger

Aerospace & Defense Projects: 8 Headaches Keeping Your PMO Awake at Night

This guide looks at the 8 biggest challenges for people working on aerospace and defense projects and explores the 5 best solutions to help increase growth...