How to Create an Effective Project Management Office

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Bottom Line Reports

Provide senior managers with simple, unambiguous information.

PMOs are routinely perceived as failing to provide the kind of data that senior managers want. This leads to a disconnection between expectations and perceived reality. PMOs need to shift from a belief that "the more detail we give, the better" to an iterative evolution of reporting that provides leaders with the kind of information that supports them in their role. For time-starved senior managers, short, precise and informative reporting is most effective. These are busy people who want the "bottom line" — they expect the PMO to work with them to identify and provide this information.

It's essential for the health of any organization that all departments, units and initiatives focus on achieving the overall goals of the business and provide real value to the bottom line — without it, the business will fail. As such, units are continuously challenged to show that they do in fact add value, especially those without immediately quantifiable revenue, such as IT or project management.

In particular, project management offices (PMOs) must operate in such a way that they demonstrate that they can support and add to the wider organization and its strategic goals.

"Digitalization and bimodal IT are just two examples of the many developments in the business environment that the PMO must support," said Mbula Schoen, senior research analyst at Gartner. "A failure to evolve and adjust to such changes can result in a PMO being misaligned with an organization's goals, and therefore being seen as failing to deliver value."

In this slideshow, Gartner has identified seven best practices to help PMO leaders adapt to such developments and demonstrate the PMO's value to the business.


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