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Technology Program Management

Rethinking PMOs


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IT organizations are increasingly being asked to offer more top-line business value. In that context, the Program Management Office (PMO) is beginning to look like a relic of another era of IT – one that holds enormous sway over how projects are implemented. As a result, technology executives have a choice: They can either choose to solidify the PMO’s role as a primarily execution-focused tool, or they can use it as an arm of strategy, responsible for achieving outcomes on the front lines of the business. We believe the latter approach can help remedy problems of strategic alignment in most PMOs. We call it a Results Management Office (RMO) – a reinvention of the PMO that goes well beyond a name change.

Deloitte recommends a higher-value approach to PMOs that focuses on delivering strategic outcomes, directly linking IT programs to broader organizational goals. We believe this simple shift can help remedy problems of strategic alignment in most PMOs. We call this higher value approach a Results Management Office, or RMO. Learn more about the market offering.

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Meet our people

  • Kelley Laird, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Al Kagan, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Related offerings

Learn more about the market offering

From programs to results
While organizations regard PMOs as having significant power to steer IT projects in the right direction, many aren’t all that effective at driving business results. They often occupy ambiguous roles and even the most effective have a limited reach – by design. Tracking, monitoring and reporting are important, but those functions fall short of actually managing outcomes. And, based on our observations, many PMOs aren’t even empowered to influence overall program direction. Despite best efforts, they’re not delivering the business case.

While some organizations have added “align with business strategy” to the list of requirements for their PMOs, in most cases their actions aren’t sufficient to create the fundamental change that is necessary to influence outcomes. Put simply, it takes rethinking the PMO – not just tinkering with the existing model.

How we can help

Deloitte recommends a higher-value approach to PMOs that focuses on delivering strategic outcomes, directly linking IT programs to broader organizational goals. We believe this simple shift can help remedy problems of strategic alignment in most PMOs. We call this higher value approach a Results Management Office, or RMO.

A Results Management Office is grounded in linking smart business choices and rigorous technology implementations, often with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. That requires working from the highest-level business drivers all the way down to the most granular details of project implementation. That takes discipline above all else – with a relentless focus on creating business value through an orderly process that covers:

  • Clarifying the business requirements
  • Defining a business case, solution architecture and program roadmap
  • Determining how to quantify and measure results
  • Implementing service-oriented business and technology architectures
  • Designing processes that can easily evolve
  • Managing change to drive adoption

Deloitte has developed specific services to help an organization in its efforts to implement this RMO approach.

Bottom-line benefits

Implementing a Results Management Office can help an organization in its efforts to:

  • Align program and organizational objectives to support the delivery of cohesive, strategy-aligned projects
  • Stay on course and accelerate toward realizing business results
  • Achieve rapid shareholder adoption throughout the program lifecycle
  • Reduce the number of missteps that can lead to cost and timeline overruns or rework

Four ways to get more value now

At any given moment in any major IT department, you can almost hear the hum of multiple technology projects running at once. Those moving parts all need to fit together to create the desired results. Within an RMO, that’s the role of the domain authority – a team of the right business and IT specialists helping to drive strategic alignment across IT and the business. That’s a better way to get a final solution that delivers the business case you wanted in the first place. Here are some insights to consider as you put an RMO to work for your organization:

  1. Use a map. Work directly with stakeholders to map your goals into alignment with those of the broader organization. This roadmap should provide an objective measure of the program’s success in actually hitting the business targets.
  2. Remember: knowledge is everything. An effective RMO creates a system for delivering relevant, specific knowledge to the people who need it to make decisions. That takes more discipline than many are willing to admit.
  3. Don’t let the tail wag the dog. An effective RMO uses domain authority to keep teams focused on the end goals of the program, not just benchmarks along the way.
  4. Stay flexible. Processes should be tailored to the requirements of the program and to the specific results you’re targeting. This gives you flexibility to respond quickly to shifts in the trajectory of the project. Discipline is important, but it shouldn’t be all-consuming.

Technology Program Management in action

  • Following the acquisition of several large, super-regional banks, this national bank used an RMO to manage six critical workstreams, including delivering a consolidated data analytics platform for more than a million customer accounts.
  • By creating an RMO, a U.S. federal agency was able to bring its systems integration function back in-house – and save a ton of money – during a large-scale modernization of its account processing system.
  • A wireless company with more than 150 ongoing IT projects was able to drastically change the way it prioritized and managed its IT investments.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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