How and why Agile PMO works

Recent surveys find that Agile is becoming the “new normal” within both IT and non-IT firms, with 86% of 1,380 global IT respondents of confirming they now fully adopt the Agile PMO approach – a figure which has more than doubled since 2020. Furthermore, within these organisations, more than half of the business departments have adopted Agile practices.

The traditional waterfall approach has been embedded in companies since the 1970’s, so why has the Agile PMO structure become so popular now? This blog looks at some of the key Agile PMO principles that enable the benefits of quicker and more cost-effective delivery and decision making, ultimately driving this shift in direction.   

A traditional PMO is responsible for providing guidance and support to the delivery of projects and programmes, and Agile PMO deliverables are no different. However, the Agile PMO structure and Agile PMO governance has an approach which supports the ability to rapidly change and adapt throughout project delivery, which ultimately saves on time and cost.  

Agile PMO structure 

The Agile method drives for a working version of a product release as quickly as possible, with improvements and additional features following in subsequent product updates. This enables the following benefits which are key to supporting a cheaper, faster delivery: 

  • Errors are caught sooner, reducing time and cost on fixing them 
  • Lessons are learnt from product releases quickly, reducing the amount of risky “unknown unknowns” 
  • A reduction in dependencies, so the core product can be demonstrated without having to wait for all the additional features or services to be available 
  • Builds are only done when they are needed, reducing overall build costs 
Benefits of PMO

The Agile PMO team will set short-term goals for the product, whilst empowering the delivery team to self-organise – to reach the goal as efficiently as possible.

And this empowerment of the delivery team contributes to the success of Agile in many ways:  

  • Making decisions is fast, done by the people “in the know”, contributing to the speed of change and delivery 
  • The leadership team have less input on day-to-day requests and requirements, entrusting the team to make decisions to reach the goals 
  • The outcome of a more collaborative and cohesive team, leading to higher employee engagement (which benefits productivity (up 17%), profitability (up 21%), and lower absenteeism (down 41%) 

In fact, a recent Agile PMO case study for an insurance company in the US reports a 20% time and $5mil cost save on projects after moving to Agile! 

So there you have it, the Agile PMO benefits include lower risk, higher profitability, faster delivery and higher employee satisfaction on projects. If this sounds like something your organisation could benefit from we would be happy to help to set up your Agile PMO roadmap.  

At Nine Feet Tall we combine deep Agile PMO expertise, coupled with the essential human approach, to drive project and benefits delivery and increase project capability. For more information contact EstherM@NineFeetTall.com  

Sources:

15th-Annual-State-Of-Agile-Report.pdf https://digital.ai/resource-center/analyst-reports/state-of-agile-report 

[https://www.pmsolutions.com/case-studies/view/insurance-company-cuts-cycle-time-by-20-and-saves-nearly-5-million] 

Gallop research https://www.infoq.com/news/2020/02/agile-companies-engagement/

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