Top 5 PMO Trends for 2017 You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Heard the saying, “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again”? Project management is right there in the middle of all the changes we’re seeing in organisations today and PMOs have a central role to play.

In this article, Patrick Tickle from Planview* gives us the top five trends for any PMO wanting to stay ahead of the game – in this fast paced interconnected world.

No matter your industry, change and innovation are the only constants you can count on these days. Yes, technology continues to proliferate and the workforce continues to diversify, but how can you keep pace with all this disruption? Maybe it’s time you upped your game plan. To get started, check out these five trends you can’t afford to ignore:

1. You don’t need a plan, you need scenarios (and probably more than you think).

The name of the game is adaptability, not predictability. While most of us will still build an annual plan, you need to be thinking about a continuous, rolling plan fueled by scenarios that can be put into action as fast as needed. By constantly thinking and modeling in scenarios, your plan can move as fast as you need it.

2. What does the “P” in PMO stand for? Maybe it should be Programme

Projects are a core part of how work gets done, but they are just the start. Today’s PMOs are at the centre of a project universe that continues to spin and become more complex. Although managing projects is still critical, the programme is becoming the lifeblood of driving change. The forces at work in today’s world are simply too big to change with a project. Programmes are where it’s at. PMOs need to shift the mix to make programmes happen.

3. IT becomes PT (Product Technology). Change one letter, change your world

How much would the change to one letter make? In the world of digital transformation, technology is not just about “information” and is definitely not locked in the “back office.” Technology is infused in every part of every business and it is part of every product and service that any market leader brings to its customers. If PMOs begin to think about “P” as in “product,” how does product change and drive your portfolio? Throw out IT, think PT.

4. Work and projects are not the same thing

Completing a project is not always the end-goal. Projects are a core part of how work gets done, but they are just the start. Work is about cranking it out, getting stuff done, no matter how you do it. There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. But how do you do that with a diverse, global, virtual workforce? Work methods like lean, stage-gate and Agile that originated in the software development community are becoming more common in other industries. Competitive companies will incorporate the best practices from their tech peers so they can bend and flex as required.

5. If you’re in a stovepipe, get a ladder (or a rope)

Everything is interconnected. Stovepipes are out-of-place in the connected, flat world. They are holding you back. Products and services are increasingly smart, organisations are increasingly virtual, workforces and teams are increasingly global – and everything is moving faster than ever. You have to make the effort (get a ladder) to get up and out of your stovepipe. Connect and collaborate with the rest of the organisation, the business, and the marketplace. This goes for everyone, but is especially true for project managers, EAs, and PMOs – move beyond the boundaries of your job title. The world is converging and now is the time to get in the game.

Global forces, generational shifts, technology, and resources are all changing the way you work. Still, there are tremendous opportunities for organisations, teams, and individuals to remake themselves and have a bigger impact than ever. Go ahead and embrace these trends now to up your game.

White Paper:  8 Reasons Your Business Strategy Might Just Fail


*Planview are part of Arras People’s project management software directory – visit their website for more information.


Patrick Tickle is responsible for the company’s Products organization and leads the Planview team that continues to deliver the most innovative portfolio management solutions to the marketplace. Patrick brings over 20 years of experience in product management, product development, and marketing across a wide range of technology solutions.

Prior to joining Planview, Patrick served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management of ITM Software where he executed category development and product definition. He has also held a variety of product management and marketing positions at Terraspring, Inc. (an enterprise software company acquired by Sun Microsystems), MIPS, and Silicon Graphics. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

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