Delivering the Digital Transformation of Your PMO

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time!” – Vince Lombardi 

The late, great coach knew all too well that time, (as well as money and scope) can be your friend or enemy in any game or project. That means your digital transformation project too…

You can tap into your Project Management Office (PMO) to help dive the Digital Transformation of your organization. The PMO function sees and touches most levels of the organization. So, tapping into your programme leads can help deliver a top-down message and enable change throughout the organization.

Forrester reported that the primary reason companies fail in their transformation efforts is because they start by launching departmental efforts in marketing, eBusiness, or technology management and bolt them onto the existing businesses. The “digital bolt-on” approach can deliver tactical results, but the strategic reality is that your business needs a reset.

You need to look at digital holistically. This is where programme leaders and the PMO come in and drive digital across the organization.

Energize the organization: Demonstrate the power of digitizing the PMO

For many organizations, the biggest barrier to digital transformation is cultural resistance. It will often be tough to see beyond the pain of transformation and understand the tangible benefits of digitizing operations. At the very least you are likely to encounter a lack of commitment to change, and you may come up against significant resistance.

While, the responsibility of delivering digital transformation may ultimately fall on just a few people, it always requires the support of many stakeholders, including the C-Suite. Truly effective collaboration across business functions is only possible when it is directed from the board down.

So, your strategy for overcoming resistance should be based on evangelizing the benefits of digital operations. You can do this by focusing your initial efforts on one area where you can make a quick win. By digitizing and improving a simple business operation that touches many parts of the organization, you can illustrate the benefits without risking any disruption of critical day-to-day operations.

Empower the PMO – Think bigger, innovate and build momentum

Once you’ve demonstrated the power of digital transformation, your organization will have a better understanding of what digital transformation really is, you’ll have stakeholders on your side, and you’ll have experience of automating processes in a digital platform.

So now it’s time to repeat your success, and think bigger. Now it’s time to really innovate. The most important step is to align your digitization initiatives with your overall business strategy.

By replicating success in other areas of your business, you can quickly help to deliver real change. Adidas used Bizagi and an agile methodology which meant less development and more efficiency. Adidas standardized processes and made them reusable to deliver automation across various departments including supply chain, marketing, finance, retail and eCommerce. The highly successful initiative reduced the time to market by two thirds when compared with the traditional in-house development, and ultimately reduced operational supply chain costs by 60%.

Expand the PMO – Deliver transformation across the enterprise

Digitizing individual processes in individual business units is only the start of digital transformation. Real, customer-centric digital transformation is enterprise-wide. So, at this stage your challenge is to make sure that your newly created culture of digital innovation extends to the farthest reaches of the organization, influencing the operations of the entire business.

Two things make this possible:

  • Digital Platforms – the right agile technology platform will enable a unified approach to the digitization of your entire business. This platform can be centrally owned by IT, but managed, controlled and customized by individual business units.
  • Centers of Excellence (CoE) – many successful digital leaders build a CoE to drive enterprise wide digitization. The CoE exists to provide best practice, training and support that aligns with an overall strategy and vision for digitizing the business.

The combination of a stable and secure digital platform with a CoE to drive best practice can also help you plan for business continuity to ensure your organization is always running to enable your employees and provide the best service or products to your customers. The key rests within your internal operating structure. You cannot effectively transform your company unless you transform the way you operate, and that begins with your PMO.

Find out more about how to empower your PMO in our practical guide, How to Kick Start Your Digital Transformation’.