A Project Management Office (PMO) supports all project participants of an organization in planning, controlling and optimizing projects as well as in project work in general. What are the typical tasks of a PMO? ChatGPT provides the following answer:
Typical tasks for the PMODevelop project management methods and processes: The PMO is responsible for developing standardized methods and processes to be used within the organization in the execution of projects. These may include planning, executing, monitoring and controlling projects.
Training and Support: The PMO provides training and support to project teams to ensure that all employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully complete projects.
Project Portfolio Management: the PMO assists the business in identifying, prioritizing, and selecting projects that contribute to the achievement of business objectives.
Resource Management: The PMO assists with resource planning and allocation to ensure that all projects can be completed with the company's available resources.
Risk management: The PMO assists in identifying and assessing project risks and develops measures to minimize risks.
Reporting: The PMO compiles regular reports on the progress of projects and reports to management to ensure that all stakeholders are informed of project progress.
Quality Assurance: the PMO ensures that all projects are executed according to company standards and guidelines and achieve the expected results.
ChatGPT is thus surprisingly close to the ideal image of a PMO: namely, the PMO is primarily not an administrative office that handles the respective project bureaucracy for the project managers. The PMO is also not a typing pool for project managers who want to have the work around documentation, reporting and current project plans taken off their hands.
But that is exactly what a PMO is often degraded to. Some in project management even go so far as to say, "If a company has capable project managers, it doesn't need a PMO."
Instead, the situation is quite different: a PMO is actually the technical and methodological center of project work in companies. It is exactly there, in the PMO, that the best project managers should sit. They should be highly trained and equipped with the latest technology. No, MS-Excel® is not the most modern technology. It is also true in project management: Excel is something like "the second best tool for everything".
As a result, some PMOs use Can Do as a PMO software and a central platform for all project and portfolio management because PMO professionals can gain significant benefits from its use in their work. Often cited reasons for using Can Do are:
- The particularly complex area of cross-project resource management is handled realistically and with the support of artificial intelligence within the software.
- Since the software allows a large part of the data collection, analysis and visualization to take place in a central location, the purely bureaucratic workload for the team in the PMO is reduced by 50% to 75%.
- There is more time to build up project management methods and knowledge, optimize processes and train project managers.
- The PMO thus has time to improve project management overall in the company and ultimately the company's profitability.
Advantages with the PMO software Can Do
In fact, Can Do offers the PMO five benefits that are also only achieved by the PMO software Can Do in this form. Here are the five most important benefits of the Can Do solution for your PMO, briefly summarized:
Advantage 1: All data and information in one central locationThe amount of data surrounding projects in companies is huge. After all, it involves all the work of the entire workforce. Therefore, it is necessary that a solution / PMO software like Can Do fully covers all levels and all phases of project and daily business.
This starts with project proposals, portfolios and project plans (according to the methodologies agile, waterfall or hybrid) up to time recording and cost accounting.
Furthermore, Can Do must be connected as a central platform with a number of other systems such as SAP®, JIRA®, HubSpot®, SalesForce®, etc.: Project-relevant data is located there as well.
In some cases, it is even necessary to connect very individual programs of the companies. This explains why Can Do is so powerful and flexible in the area of interfaces.
Furthermore, the data must be available in real time at all times - something that only very few systems can do.
By avoiding any redundancy, a central view of all project-relevant data is created without any misunderstandings. The individual data sources do not have to be laboriously synchronized. The time savings for the PMO are very high.
If Can Do is set up appropriately, the PMO itself does not have to collect any data at all; instead, all other project participants take care of it.
The PMO only evaluates this data and all projects benefit from the insights.
Advantage 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) in PMO software turns data into information
Many deployed solutions allow extensive collection of data and its visualization in great graphics and huge lists. However, this presentation does not turn the data into information that would be useful for people (it is just nice to look at, especially in a product presentation).
Getting useful information from data requires analysis by algorithms or, preferably, artificial intelligence. And no - summing up or spreading data over months is not AI analysis. The PMO software Can Do permanently analyzes the entire amount of data on many different levels with extreme computing effort. The goal is always to find risks in the planning of all work.
Then, with the help of an AI, an assessment of urgency and impact is made for the many risks found in the predicted future.
The risks that are dangerous for the projects are then specifically displayed to the PMO. The software reduces and optimizes the gigantic, dynamic data pool in such a way that only the issues that the PMO really needs to deal with are displayed.
The advantage for the PMO is immediately visible. No cumbersome lists are sifted through, senseless amounts of data are searched, but rather the - usually few - really urgent problems are seen immediately and solved in a targeted manner.
This targeted work increases the effectiveness of the PMO as well as the acceptance by all other people.
The result of a PMO software with AI-powered data analysis, information generation and risk assessment: when the PMO says something, everyone listens.
Advantage 3: The entire reporting system is uniform and efficient
There are companies that have limited knowledge about their current or future projects. Furthermore, no reliable resource information is available; both about the current utilization of personnel and about the future need for personnel or their abilities (skills).
A PMO is then degraded to a "typing pool" and creates elaborate reports (mostly in Excel® and PowerPoint®). It is not uncommon for it to spend the entire day creating custom reports for different areas of the business.
The Can Do PMO software puts an end to this waste of time.
Since Can Do is a fully object-oriented, real-time system, all information can be visualized almost arbitrarily in the apps. Common methods such as EVA, CPM, etc. are offered. The difference to other systems is the quality of the information. The reports are more like dashboards that are constantly analyzed and enriched with assessments by the algorithms and AI.
Since the data is real-time and the project business is volatile, the PMO software Can Do also takes a different approach here if desired, to make the reports easier and better to deliver to the target audience.
All dashboards and analytics can, of course, be exported as PDF or Excel files with one click.
But Can Do also offers another very interesting feature that significantly reduces the workload of the PMO and raises the reporting quality: The reports and dashboards are apps, small programs that run in the browser. Data and information for certain departments, projects or portfolios are loaded into these apps, analyzed and displayed.
The PMO can now send a link (for the browser) to the recipient that contains all this. So the recipient doesn't receive a PDF or Excel file, but just a link to the app and its data relevant to them. If the recipient clicks on this link, the report or analysis is generated and displayed at that moment. So the result is the current knowledge of the company's information and not outdated data that is in a PDF file. He can now save this link in his browser and get the information whenever he wants. The PMO now doesn't have to do anything. The information has been transformed by Can Do from a bring debt (by the PMO) to a fetch debt (by management).
It is no longer the PMO that is responsible for keeping management informed, but management itself.
Advantage 4: Any method is supported by the PMO software
Project management is a field of knowledge and expertise. It is constantly being improved and expanded. Thus, many standards, methods and procedures exist today, all of which are subject to one principle. It is always a question of "who does what - and when".
The PMO software Can Do supports all common methods here. No matter if it is the classic waterfall method, agile methods like Scrum or even hybrid methods. The special thing is that the methods and procedures can be mixed in an organization as desired. So it is possible that there are pure agile projects with Scrum and Jira® or reduced models like day-to-day business or basic workloads. In Can Do, everything can be combined and summarized.
Also, the depth of planning does not matter in principle to the algorithms and artificial intelligence. There are project planners who plan very detailed and precisely; others rather roughly and imprecisely. Both are possible in parallel, and the AI is still reliable and capable of providing information. The advantage for the PMO is a reduction of discussions about the "right planning" with all actors in the company. No consensus has to be found with this method. Everyone can (almost) plan as he wants, Can Do can handle it.
A considerable saving of unnecessary discussion time and - above all - nerves is the benefit for the PMO here.
Advantage 5: Acceptance through modern PMO software
In many companies, planning is not taken seriously. Nobody believes in planning and nobody believes the current assessment of the situation. Statistics describing that 90% of all projects fail, i.e. take longer or turn out to be more costly than planned, forget one fact: the planning was already completely unrealistic at the start of the project.
But why is that?
The plans are often wishful thinking and purely optimistic assumptions. But plans can also take a certain direction for corporate policy reasons, so as not to make management nervous. These are some of the reasons for low acceptance of project planning, but usually another circumstance is not taken into account enough:
Planning is prediction - and it can never be accurate. Ignoring this fact, planning data cannot be stored inaccurately in most applications. The software used forces accurate data on users, no matter how far in the future projects and their work are. The result is a sham accuracy that has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Thus, the estimate "in April" becomes the exact 1st of April or an effort estimate of 150-200 person-days becomes 175 person-days. But not because this would be realistic, but because the conventions of the software used demand it of the PMO.
This pseudo planning is of course checked in reality by the people involved and recognized as unrealistic. Thus, it no longer makes sense for the people in the company to believe this planning and to act accordingly. The planning is therefore ignored. A condition that is disastrous for a PMO, because the PMO naturally lives from its credibility.
The PMO software Can Do is the only system in the market that is able to accept inaccurate data and deal with it perfectly. It is not primarily a matter of being able to record in the system a milestone on "sometime in May" or an effort estimate with "let's say 20 - 30 person days", but how the software handles it. Such information is the nightmare of all software developers, because it strongly suggests a so-called exponential factor. Due to the imprecision there are many variants of the future. The above-mentioned milestone can be reached on the first of May, the second of May, the third of May, and so on. Everything in the interval from the first day in May to the last day in May is acceptable in planning.
If the milestone were placed on the first of May - because the software used only allows accurate inputs - the second of May would be a deviation that would have an impact in the PMO. Is a project a failure if a milestone is met one day later than it was planned 2 years ago? While this may well be the case depending on the project and industry, it is rare in practice.
Can Do's AI can handle this imprecise data - intervals - and calculates (in real time) all variants of all futures. In addition, the AI estimates the probability of occurrence of all these futures, weighting the risk of occurrence.
This sounds complicated, and it is. But the team in the PMO doesn't have to deal with it. The advantage of being able to include even imprecise data saves discussions and greatly increases the credibility of the PMO's analyses. Experts who are asked for estimates (be it times, efforts or costs) express the current state of knowledge by their inaccurate values.
This information is valuable and must not be lost. Converting it into an exact pseudo-value because Excel® or another system demands exact data is not acceptable and is not appreciated by these same experts.
On this basis, the PMO now analyzes, evaluates and documents the information. If the real data of the experts is used, this data is believed. If this data is falsified, it is not.
The advantage is therefore clear: The PMO lives from the credibility of its analyses and actions. This credibility can only be achieved with modern systems such as Can Do.
Can Do, the platform / PMO software for the entire project environment with all its roles, plays out its advantages particularly in the Project Management Office. Above all, the forward-looking PM software with AI helps the PMO to (regain) the importance it deserves as the decisive authority in project management.