Value Streams and the PMO

New ways for a PMO to add value

The digital era leads a PMO to consider using value streams. Value Streams and a PMO are two crucial concepts that can help organisations achieve efficient delivery of projects.

A value stream is a pictorial representation of the physical people, processes, and technology used to deliver a product or a service to a customer.


The PMO is responsible for establishing and maintaining a project management framework that includes procedures and guidelines to ensure that the projects undertaken align with the organisation’s strategy and ways of working. The PMO also develops and implements governance activities to guarantee compliance of all projects to the standards required by the organisation.

Digital technologies have revolutionised how organisations operate in the modern era. As organisations strive for agility at the enterprise level, it is essential to assess the role of the PMO within this new landscape. Traditionally, PMOs have emphasised compliance, consistency, and reporting. There is an increasing need to redefine their approach to modern development activities to support organisational agility objectives of delivering products and services faster.

What your PMO needs to do

Many PMOs who have established project methods that work for their organisation consider that their job is done. In today’s world, however, organisations must be agile and efficient to stay competitive. One aspect of organisational agility is delivering technology and process change quickly and efficiently – using the PMO’s project methodologies.

In order to achieve the agility required, some organisations have started transforming their project methodologies, seeking more effective means of delivery. All projects, whether waterfall or agile, have a system of delivery involving people, processes, and technology. In Lean, this system is called a value stream. Analysis of value streams enables organisations to identify inefficiencies, eliminate waste, and create smoother business processes that maximise customer value.

The Lean concept of relentless continuous improvement necessitates frequent evaluation to ensure that the project delivery value stream remains as relevant and effective as possible. So, as the owner of the project methods, your PMO needs to evaluate where these can be improved to increase speed to market, reduce inefficiency and cut out waste. For example, using value stream analysis, you can decide if your governance process has the desired effect or is slowing the delivery rate.

Your PMO needs a metrics strategy.

Value Stream analysis gives your PMO a range of new metrics which, once socialised at senior levels of your organisation, can enhance decision-making and improve project performance.

Traditional project delivery focuses on lagging indicators, meaning the data gathered reflects the past. As organisations switch to agile delivery, these lagging indicators have less relevance. Agile projects and continuous delivery activities use metrics to forecast deliveries based on capacity and recent delivery speed. Value stream analysis starts using flow metrics. These new data types provide opportunities to improve portfolio reporting and enhance executive decision-making.

Establishing a metrics strategy for your PMO is essential to ensure the success and progress of your organisation. It requires determining what, why and who will be using the information gathered from the metrics. Knowing who will use the data is just as important as understanding what needs to be measured and why it must be done to achieve desirable results.

Your metrics strategy needs to consider how the traditional universal metrics, such as financials, benefits and risks, are supplemented by flow metrics, such as average time to value. Leading metrics such as cycle time, earned value, productivity, employee satisfaction and portfolio reporting may be enhanced by value stream metrics such as rate of delivery, value delivered and delivery efficiency.

Value Streams and the PMO

These concepts may be new to many PMO Leaders. Value stream analysis can be used on any part of your organisation, even with the PMO operation.

So, how can you learn more about using value streams in your organisation? Continuous Improvement and the PMO Using Value Streams is a focused specialist course from PMO Learning.

The course provides PMO Leaders and Practitioners with the tools they need to create greater organisational value. In a highly interactive environment, senior PMO practitioners learn how to reduce waste, improve efficiency, streamline processes and emphasise continual improvement. The course provides a framework and shows how to create measures to evaluate and improve the organisation’s project delivery system. As part of a practical activity, a participant may take their organisation’s project delivery framework and get a holistic view for improvement.

The course also focuses on using value streams to make improvements within the PMO and uses a practical framework to help embed a culture of continuous improvement.

Click here for further information on the Continuous Development and the PMO Using Value Streams.


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