The digital revolution is changing every aspect of the workplace, but few jobs will be reshaped as fundamentally as those in the project management office. The research firm Gartner predicts that by 2030, as much as 80% of the traditional work of the PMO (data collection, tracking, and reporting) could be performed by AI. The day-to-day work may be changing, but the brief is undeniably expanding.
The rise of agile is also reshaping the PMO role. A recent Project Management Institute survey of PM directors discovered that agile was the top skill sought by management – 67% requested use of this rapid, flexible approach to development. What happens to the PMO, as the current process of annual budgets becomes less and less relevant, and the need to track the value being delivered at any given moment becomes more and more important?
In order to stay relevant–and thrive–in this environment, PMOs must embrace the role of transformation managers who will help companies adapt to the accelerating velocity of the ongoing digital revolution.
Executives are primed to view PMOs in this role of change agents. In fact, a Forbes Insight/PMI survey of 537 executives across the globe revealed that nearly 90% of them are convinced that “the PMO will play an increasingly critical part in digitally transforming organizations in the future.”
Savvy PMOs will increasingly be able to set their company’s pace, tone, and strategy by leveraging their unique vantage point into all of their company’s various pursuits. Their role allows them to peek at the status of all of the different projects underway within the company, driving strategic direction and keeping the executive team abreast with what’s progressing smoothly and where issues have arisen.
Agile means that teams will have increasing flexibility, and be empowered to manage their own workflows, which can unleash great productivity gains. But PMOs will still need to use their special vantage point to see that these workflows are actually, y’know, working. Every project needs to be continually reassessed to make sure that it’s proceeding with the level of speed and efficiency that provides maximum value to the company, and the PMO can alert teams and leaders if they need to tweak their systems.
Picking software that offers flexibility and freedom can help the PMO do all these things, while ensuring that teams have the agility they need in order to thrive. For instance, project management software Clarizen One and the task management solution Clarizen Go work in tandem to support agile enterprises. Go can be tailored by each team to fit their specific needs and processes – HR, marketing, IT … everyone. Clarizen One offers the PMO a top-level view of all projects underway, so that they can determine at a glance which are truly delivering.
As the rate of change in the business world accelerates, the project management office will play an increasingly central and increasingly visible role in keeping the company adroit and agile. With an open mind and the proper toolkit, PMOs will thrive as their purview grows.