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Projects-to-Products: The State of PMO Branding

By Brian Nathanson posted Dec 06, 2019 05:42 PM

Following on my last post about brands and brand management, I thought it might be an interesting exercise to look at the state of PMO branding in many organizations. By this, I mean the overall reputation that PMOs have or perception of them across firms. *Fair warning: Some of these numbers may be troubling if you're a PMO fan.*

According to statistics from industry research firms (such as Gartner and PMI), here is what we know:
  • 68% of organizations have a PMO, down from 80% 3 years ago
  • Only 49% of organizations with a PMO say that it is an enterprisewide PMO
  • 60% of organizations with an enterprisewide PMO say it is focused on business strategy
  • Only 41% of organizations with an enterprisewide PMO say it is highly aligned to the organization’s strategy

If you combine these numbers, you discover that:
Only about 1/3 of organizations (.68 x .49) have enterprisewide PMOs.
Only 1/5 of organizations (.33 x .6) have an enterprise PMO focused on business strategy and only 2/3 (.41/.60) of those say it is highly aligned to the organization's strategy.

Thus, only ~13% of organizations have an enterprise PMO that is highly aligned to the organization's strategy. That's roughly 1 out of every 8 organizations.

Now these numbers may not include other formulations of enterprisewide correlation, such as Strategy Realization Offices or Business Transformation Offices, but that's not the focus here. The focus for this post is that the "PMO" does not appear to be a well-respected brand in general across the industry as an agent of enterprisewide change.

If you believe you fall in the 7 out of 8, then it may be time to engage in a bit of rebranding to insure you have an appropriate seat at the table for your company's strategic execution down the road.

Just a thought and a rudimentary example of brand analysis (albeit at an industry level). Feel free to sound off in the comments.