Let’s now assume that you wish to monetise your PMO for all of the right reasons and that you are in the best possible position to do this.
The best advice I can give here is the old advice of ‘KIS(S)’ – Keep it Simple (you know what the extra ‘S’ is for I am sure).
What is your PMO good at? What have you developed, delivered, proven, packaged and can now offer without any additional investment or risk?
And what can be offered in a discrete way? The risk to any PMO of heading in the direction of money is that the ‘customer is king’ and this means that in any situation of conflict the money-generating customer of the PMO will win out over the budget supporting sponsor of the PMO. So you need to avoid situations where the PMO can get dragged in to long engagements with ‘customers’ that distract from the core PMO activities.
What about Health Checks or Retrospectives/Lessons Learned services? These are discrete, potentially high value but (I hope in your PMO) well proven packages of services that can be offered to external customers. Consider what else fits the bill:
- Already proven practice
- Discrete in length of engagement
- Low risk
- High value
- Offering some skill or experience that the ‘customer’ lacks
Just take a look at your ‘menu’ of PMO service offerings and consider each one for potential revenue generation (if you don’t have a ‘menu’ then ask yourself are you really ready for this move?). Once you have done this only focus on one or two, don’t stretch
yourself, but start easy. The organisation has to accept that the journey of the PMO from budget overhead to profit contribution is not an overnight one.
And finally where are these customers coming from?
If we are talking external customers to your organisation then anything that the PMO offers is going to have to align to and integrate with the existing sales and marketing and support channels.
If we are talking about costed services back in to the organisation internally then that has to be carefully planned and communicated. Other departments need to understand this plan and they need to build this in to future budgets. The worst situation a PMO can
find itself in is to lose ‘work’ because they now charge for PM training, or project reviews etc. As soon as the PMO becomes disconnected to the project business it loses any value it might have.
A PMO costs! And the first task of a new PMO is to prove the value of that investment through delivering (and tracking) improved project success. A second task it can take on is to offer revenue flow back in to the business, and that is quite possible but takes
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