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This global benchmarking study from ESI international identifies the key challenges and successes experienced by project and programme management offices (PMO) and draws recommendations for the future.


Across numerous industries and in every region of the world, businesses have endeav­oured to boost their overall performance in project and programme management. A central element of their strategy has been to establish and continually expand their Project/Programme Management Office (PMO).


This study is based on research conducted from a survey of senior level project and programme managers from a variety of industries around the world with a total of 3,740 respondents. Over 45% of those surveyed were project/programme management office (PMO) staff, while nearly 37% were non-PMO staff. Only 18% reported not having a PMO at all.


Key findings:


  • The discourse is shifting from determining PMO maturity to the value the maturing PMO brings.
  • More transparency is needed to measure PMO effectiveness.
  • The PMO is a hub of project management training for some, but its positive influence on career progression is questionable.
  • The measurement of training impact is sorely neglected.
  • Three in five question the value of the PMO.
  • Most PMOs are not operating at a strategic level.


As the reverberations from the world financial crisis slowly subside, PMO budgets will continue to be subject to intense scrutiny in much the same way that budgets for all operating divisions will be scrutinised. Budgets will only increase for those PMOs to which a greater percentage of project managers report directly into the organisation.


One way in which organisations can improve their chances of PMO impact is to establish formal effectiveness measurements on both the training and PMO levels. By implementing both pre- and post-training assessments, PMOs can foster their role as the hub of training for everyone in the organisation while reinforcing their value.


Across the globe, the PMO is excellent in conveying methodology; to have long-term relevance, however, it will need to improve its ability to provide coaching and mentoring along with other soft skills training to invest in tomorrow's leaders today.


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ESI International, a leading project management learning company, helps organisations and individuals improve the way they manage projects, contracts, requirements and suppliers. In addition to ESI's more than 100 courses delivered in more than a dozen languages at hundreds of locations worldwide, ESI offers several certificate programmes through its educational partner, The George Washington University in Washington.


Feb 8, 2021
May 5, 2011
IT Briefing

This resource is no longer available.