Bridging perceived value gap between business stakeholders and PMO


By Dwaraka Iyengar

Texas, USA


Business sponsors are generally organized based on their functions and hence have a wholesome group when it comes to performing their function. A different story emerges when businesses have to execute projects to meet corporate objectives and goals. Businesses no longer have the resources to be fully self-sufficient and hence have to depend on other parts of the organization to make their projects successful. Business has never had to integrate the various departments until now to carry on with their regular functions. They now rely on the Project Manager to perform the integration function and thus fill the gap. In large/semi large organizations PMOs supply businesses with PMs for this function. The PMs however sit in the PMO organization and from a business standpoint ‘do not belong’ to them. Frictions and cracks appear as the engagement progresses and business does not seem to be happy with the situation. This paper attempts to identify and analyze these gaps and proposes solution for the benefit of both the PMO and the business.

To achieve this objective, the paper will begin with a definition of the value of PMOs to business, measures of value and how intangibles affect the measures of value. The paper will continue to provide some case studies from PMOs in various industries and then conclude with ideas for closing the gap of the a lack of perceived value to business.

PMO and its value

The Boston Consulting Group recently identified the following four imperatives for successfully delivering strategic initiative implementation. The PMO will serve a critical support function in these imperatives. The imperatives are:

  1. Focus on Critical Initiatives – Provide senior leaders with true operational insight through meaningful milestones and objectives for the strategic initiatives
  2. Institute Smart and Simple Processes – Through the use of the above mentioned milestone and objectives, communicate progress and identify issues early without adding undue burden to business
  3. Develop leadership skills and capabilities within the organization, and
  4. Institute change management as a real competitive differentiator

Additionally PMO provides intangibles such as:

  1. Enhanced communication and collaboration
  2. Alignment of values, goals and strategies within different parts of the organization
  3. Improved efficiency in work cultures
  4. Improvements in decision-making and problem solving capabilities
  5. Improved transparency , clarity of roles and responsibilities

Values can be measured in terms of tangibles such as: Cost savings, increased revenue, increased customer share, customer retention, reduced rework and write-off etc. Intangibles on the other hand can be measured in terms of improved competitiveness, greater social good (going green), improved quality of life, more effective human resources, improved reputation, staff retention, improved regulatory compliance etc.

Now let’s look at some of the aspects of constraints that contribute to the gap in the expectations of stakeholders and PMO, and the way PMOs bridge those gaps.


To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 8th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, Texas, USA in August 2014. It is republished here with permission of the author and symposium organizers. For more about the UTD PM Symposium, click here.

About the Author

pmwj31-Feb2015-Iyengar-PHOTODwaraka Iyengar, PMPflag-usa

Texas, USA

Dwaraka Iyengar, PMP has over 30 years of IT management consulting experience in the government, health, housing, insurance, manufacturing, finance, retail promotion and transportation industries. Dwaraka is a Senior Manager, IT-PMO, at MoneyGram International Inc, a global leader in the financial service industry enabling money transfers. In this role, Dwaraka is in charge of mentoring Project Managers, establishing standards and ensuring IT delivers business value to the organizations. Prior to this, Dwaraka was Assistant Vice President, Technical Communications at Innodata, a publicly traded Content Management Solutions consulting service organization. At Innodata, Dwaraka stood up a global Program Management Office and also headed the business development and delivery wings of Technical Communications Practice. He is also a part-time instructor at Collin County Community College District in North Texas.

Dwaraka manages and leads large development projects and has also successfully done so for Fortune 500 transportation and retail promotion companies. Dwaraka was primarily responsible for implementing offshore projects and processes in those engagements. Prior to the offshore engagements, he had served as an Engagement Manager for Syntel Inc., an outsourcing IT company that consulted to Ford, AIG and Blue Cross Blue Shield among its clients. Dwaraka received his PMP certification in 1998 and has served on the award winning PMI Dallas Chapter education committee since then. Dwaraka is a Past President of the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and is currently a member of the Governance and Admin Best Practices committee at the Region 6 level of PMI.

Dwaraka Iyengar can be contacted at [email protected].