PMO Managed Services

How do you transform your PMO by teaming with a Managed Service provider?

Flexibility and resilience have never been more important for businesses — especially true for the project portfolios that drive organizational change. Within project management offices (PMOs), the ability to adapt and evolve is critical.

In 2021 PwC and PMI conducted a global survey of project managers and senior leadership to examine high impact organizations' approach to project management and the PMO, and report on the actions that will help organizations use projects effectively to drive success.

Many US PMOs currently track these key business strategy metrics with customer satisfaction (59%) at the highest, followed by risk management indicators (41%), alignment to the wider organizational strategy and KPIs (41%), and regulatory compliance indicators (40%).

The survey results give us a place to start exploring what PMOs need to drive genuine business value in an ever-changing business climate.  To accomplish this, organizations must be prepared to make shifts in their project portfolio capabilities.

By working with a PMO Managed Services provider, organizations can realize these outcomes by improving how they assess, mobilize, implement and run a Project, Program or Portfolio Management office.

Customer satisfaction
Alignment to the wider organizational strategy and KPIs
Risk management indicators
Regulatory compliance indicators
Operational efficiencies
Cost savings
Adoption of tools, processes, methodologies and approaches
Financial measures
Employee satisfaction
Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) indicators
Cultural shift

Source: PMI and PwC. 2021. PMI and PwC Global Survey on Transformation and Project Management 2021.

Is your PMO executing your business strategy? If not, it should be.

The 2021 Global Survey on Transformation and Project Management is a joint research program led by the Project Management Institute and PwC. PMI and PwC worked together to explore how projects, programs and portfolios are working for project managers and their organizations. The report provides guidance on how to drive business value through your PMO, including:

  • Assessing a PMO’s maturity level to look for areas of improvement.
  • Exploring new ways to measure PMO and/or project success.
  • Ensuring that project managers have critical business and leadership skills.
  • Leveraging technology and data to help drive all of the above.

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Are traditional measures of success hindering the PMO?

Why your PMO still gets rated three out of five stars. Our latest research suggests that the problem lies in the way that PMOs measure success and demonstrate value. PMOs still typically measure project performance in terms of the ‘Iron Triangle’, assessing whether the work was delivered on time, within scope and on budget.

Learn about how PMOs measure success

Who is the modern project manager?

The global trend of ‘projectification’ has meant that more and more activities are being organized into projects and more and more people are working as project managers. Projects are not only more numerous, they are also becoming larger and more complex, with mega projects and organization-wide transformations becoming the norm. 

Learn about the modern project manager

Source: PMI and PwC. 2021. PMI and PwC Global Survey on Transformation and Project Management 2021.

What is the recipe for delivering business strategy through projects?

Blending structure and flexibility to suit your organization’s taste.

In our ‘new normal’ of constant change and transformation, a business’s survival hinges on its ability to transform. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified this – the ability to stop, pivot, restart and move on is more important than ever. While this is true for business at large, it is especially true for the projects that underpin and drive organizational change. The ability to create and deliver a portfolio of projects in an agile way is now an imperative, and companies want to understand how to organize around this and invest in the people and technology required for success.

Realized project outcomes - the essential ingredients

Our research has highlighted three essential ingredients to consider bringing together when developing your organization’s strategy for project management:

Fit-for-Purpose Governance

As one of our interviewees, a Finance Program Manager at a global technology firm, says “we need rigor in our approach, to enable the flexibility and quick thinking to assess, pick up, and drop projects as necessary. It’s so important to think tactically about projects – more than ever before.

We know that managing change initiatives is different than managing a capital project, in terms of the speed and cycles you need to go through - if you place concrete in a capital project, you’re not going to easily pivot away from that action. When it comes to organizational change, we need different management processes to help us work together and prototype to get our outcomes much faster.

Steve FeliceProject Centre of Excellence, Officer at BHP

A firm understanding of the big picture - and the people who can communicate it

Project professionals also need to be able to communicate effectively, and articulate how projects further the organization’s strategic goals to their colleagues. This has a twofold benefit; firstly, it helps keep their stakeholders motivated and keep in mind why each action and initiative is a priority. Secondly, with so many inter-linked initiatives and scope, projects and major transformations can start to feel like a never-ending, continuous change process for the wider business. It becomes hard for the PMO to look back and say ‘mission accomplished.

Defining specific goals helps the PMO motivate stakeholders and stay focused on why this specific initiative is a priority – this in turn elevates the PMO function and its role as a driver and builder in maintaining the change momentum required to deliver business strategy. If we focus on putting the right measurements in place to provide the supporting evidence to the big picture we’re creating a recipe for success which will be far easier to articulate to the wider business.

Transformations blur into another transformation - you work on it 2-3 years and it transforms into the new transformation. You then get about 50% of what you want out of that transformation because the goals aren’t clearly defined. Where I’ve seen success in large transformations, they knew exactly what they needed to get out of it - or at least there was some minimum to say, hey, we have completed this transformation, it is a win, because we’ve got these pieces.

Ajay MchtaManager of Strategy and Continuous Improvement at Southwest Airlines

Flexible approach to delivery

Whatever the maturity of your business’s project management function – be it a web of interlinked projects being delivered with waterfall or agile methodology, a transformation office, or a project management center of excellence – cultivating a culture of accountability and flexibility are the key ingredients in a valued project management function that can further the goals of the overall business.

Having an agile mindset is not about being tied to any one particular process - and of course there has to be boundaries otherwise there would be chaos - it’s about having that agility to be able to pivot and go in different directions and still achieve the ultimate objective.

Jack MacDonaldFormer Senior Manager, Integrated Support Teams, Department of National Defence, Canada

What is the role of technology?

  • Technology is utilized in a number of different ways to enhance the workforce. Maturity is linked to utilizing technology, yet in the US the use of technology appears to be lower in adoption.
  • Technology, which has enabled remote working, has had the largest impact on improving the management of projects. Over the next five years, technology will help free up project manager time and enhanced information will be more prevalent.
  • A number of barriers exist in the adoption of technology: cost and having a digital mindset. Additionally, cyber security appears to be a bigger barrier to the uptake of technology for organizations in the US.



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Jennifer Duignan

Jennifer Duignan

Principal, PMO Managed Services, PwC US

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