Successful project delivery and PMO portfolio management require a dynamic, data-driven approach. And while project management evolves all the time, certain trends continue to shine through. Here are our 7 PMO key trends for 2022.
1. Put users first
Project management is becoming more user-centric. Ten years ago, PMO tools were all about functionality and features. But while a wealth of “useful” features can help win RFP or a sales pitch, they leave users by the wayside. Training becomes time-consuming and even the most basic tasks required an in-depth understanding of the tools.
Today's project management tools, on the other hand, focus strongly on the user and on providing the smoothest possible experience. They enable you to identify different user groups and deliver tailored training to meet their operational needs. With dynamic user interfaces and telemetry, first-time users get an easy introduction to the PMO tool and experienced users get the functionality they need.
A good example of this is the radical redesign of Microsoft Project in the form of Project for the Web. The new version provides a streamlined experience and doesn’t require years of practice to use effectively.
2. Customise and experiment with project management methodologies
While Agile is the current trend in project management, not all projects are suitable for pure Agile. This has led to the growth of a variety of “Agile-like” methods. But even with this diverse crop, every team, every department, and every organisation must find a culture and style that suits its projects and people.
Don’t be afraid to combine elements from Agile and Waterfall to create your own hybrid model. For example, a “Wagile” approach adopts Agile practices like short iterations, daily stand-ups, or continuous integration on top of the sequential Waterfall model.
No project framework is perfect. Even within your own hybrid model you may choose Kanban for some projects and pure Waterfall for others. Engage your stakeholders to understand their needs and expertise, then consider how much change you want to introduce to your project teams. The closer you get to pure Agile, the higher the level of knowledge and skill you need from your team.
3. Variety of tools
Thanks to advances in cloud and BI, there are more project management tools out there than ever. This is great for project teams who may have choices to match their culture, level of knowledge, and procedures. But where does that leave the PMO that needs visibility of projects across all teams?
Fortunately, enterprise-level cloud infrastructures like the Power Platform enable integration of data sources and reporting across disparate tools. We can move away from single monolithic solutions that required a one-fits-all approach.
4. Data-driven PMOs are cloud-native
Effective project management now lives in the cloud. The latest PMO tools are SaaS-based, cloud-native platforms. This means that as an organisation, you need to make sure that you manage your cloud environments effectively.
Some project management tools require complex data management and storage strategies to keep costs under control. Organisations that are early on their digital transformation journey need to have a clear roadmap for how their cloud migration will impact ongoing projects, so the PMO can manage expectations.
5. Embrace decentralised project teams & project resources
The post-pandemic, globalised world has made distributed project teams a part of daily life for many project managers. This should be considered the norm, rather than the exception. Alongside global teams, today’s projects draw on global project resources. This makes resource management more complex both at the project and the portfolio level.
To facilitate PMO best practices, strong PMO governance processes are needed to ensure global compliance, whilst remote workers need easy access to project assets.
6. Champion business intelligence across your organisation
A user-centric approach to PMO best practice increases the need for better business intelligence. PMOs need a single view of the truth across a range of methodologies and tools. This is the only way to get reliable, data-rich reporting. But that’s just the start. You should also use big data and AI to join the dots in never-before-seen ways to extract new insights and value.
To achieve this, you must define and standardise your processes and establish a data-driven culture. To develop that culture, every employee must become a stakeholder who understands the value of data – starting at the top.
7. PMO best practice requires lifelong learning
Modern PMO tools are dynamic, with updates and new features coming out regularly. As such, today’s PMO should embrace short, daily learning and training sessions. They should also focus on the specific needs of the team, rather than a broad overview of all the features.
PMO best practice continues to evolve
Project management is constantly changing and evolving and so do its best practices. To keep a finger on the pulse and continue to carry out projects effectively and successfully, organisations must be open to innovation. A data-driven culture that embraces new ideas and can deliver them flexibly is the key to success.