SOURCE: The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group

November 12, 2013 00:01 ET

PMOs Need to Play an Increasingly Crucial Role in the Delivery of Strategic Change Efforts

New Report by BCG and the Project Management Institute Identifies Four Key Imperatives for Strategically Aligned PMOs; Identifies Clear Gains for Companies Seeking to Improve Their Performance in Implementing Strategic Initiatives

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Nov 12, 2013) - Businesses today operate in a world of growing complexity, risk, and instability, and the ability to rapidly adapt to this changing business environment increasingly separates winning companies from the pack. They have the superior ability to both develop and implement major strategic initiatives, even as they continue to excel at running the company's daily operations. But excelling at this is extremely challenging. Program and project management offices (PMOs) can play a critical role in supporting senior leaders and the broader organization in the implementation of new strategic initiatives, but many companies fail to capitalize on this opportunity. "Strategic Initiative Management: The PMO Imperative," a report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the capstone in PMI's 2013 Thought Leadership Series, offers solutions to better define the role of PMOs in helping enable strategic change.

The report builds on extensive research conducted by PMI, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and Forrester Consulting, along with a wealth of experience from BCG. It identifies the following four key imperatives for companies seeking to improve their strategic implementation efforts, and it clarifies the role that PMOs need to play in such efforts:

  • Focus on Critical Initiatives. Provide senior leaders with true operational insight through meaningful milestones and objectives.

  • Institute Smart and Simple Processes. Establish program-level routines that track these milestones and objectives -- without adding undue burdens on the businesses and functions executing the work.

  • Foster Talent and Capabilities. Develop and nurture the right technical, strategic, management, and leadership skills and capabilities within the organization.

  • Encourage a Culture of Change. Actively build organization-wide support for strategic initiative implementation and change management as a real competitive differentiator.

Building Confidence For Change
"In most cases, strategic initiatives today are bold and complex and need to be delivered both rapidly and fully for companies to be competitive. However, failure is all too common, and the cause is frequently that senior leaders don't get the information they need to make necessary adjustments," said Perry Keenan, a senior partner at BCG and a coauthor of the report. "The information they receive is often not structured to support them in forward-looking course correction in the delivery of initiatives. Together, these four imperatives serve to more effectively engage senior leaders and support an enhanced ability within businesses by better leveraging the PMO."

Improving PMO capabilities can lead to significant financial gains. "PMI's Thought Leadership Series has found that only one-third of PMO leaders currently feel that they are delivering full value to the organization," said Gaurav Shah, communications manager at PMI and a coauthor of the report. "Yet when they are designed and supported effectively, strategic PMOs can help constitute a true, competitive differentiator. One of the studies in the series found that by investing in a strategically aligned PMO that worked effectively with the organization's senior leaders, companies saw distinct benefits: two-thirds of those interviewed saw improved performance in less than six months and realized the value of investing in the PMO within two years."

Critical Discussion Topic at Upcoming Industry Event
"Strategic Initiative Management: The PMO Imperative" sheds needed light on an area of growing relevance for all organizations. Those companies that can develop strategic implementation capabilities and better engage their PMOs with senior leaders can give themselves a real competitive advantage.

Given the timeliness of these issues, Keenan will discuss the findings of the report at the PMO Symposium, a prominent event for project management professionals hosted by PMI. In addition, EIU and Forrester will present the reports they published as part of PMI's Thought Leadership Series. The event will take place November 10 through13 at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com or at www.eapm.org/.
To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com.

For more information on the PMO Symposium, visit: http://copevents.pmi.org/pmo-symposium-2013?WT.mc_id=PMOS2013PMISymposium

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 78 offices in 43 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About the Project Management Institute
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world's largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Our professional resources and research empower more than 700,000 members, credential holders and volunteers in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve their organizations' success and further mature the profession. PMI's worldwide advocacy for project management is reinforced by our globally recognized standards and certification program, extensive academic and market research programs, chapters and communities of practice, and professional development opportunities. For more information, please visit www.pmi.org.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact Information

  • The Boston Consulting Group
    Eric Gregoire
    Global Media Relations Manager

    Tel +1 617 850 3783
    Fax +1 617 850 3701
    gregoire.eric@bcg.com