ESI International, the world's leading project management training company, today unveiled the findings of its latest annual benchmarking survey, “The State of the Project Management Office: On the Road to the Next Generation.” The survey, which investigates the current role of the Project/Program Management Office (PMO), its development to full-blown maturity and value for the overall business, reveals the emergence of a new kind of PMO that ESI has identified as the “Next-Gen PMO.”

What is considered a Next-Gen PMO? Based on responses from over 3,000 respondents in more than 17 industries on six continents, ESI’s global survey revealed that Next-Gen PMOs:

  • actively engage in helping employees apply what they’ve learned in training back on the job,
  • are more business-oriented,
  • are considered more developed (so-called “maturity”),
  • have a stronger customer focus, and
  • are more valued than those that don’t assist in applying training back on the job.

ESI’s PMO survey points out the challenges that still face today’s PMOs:

  • In general, PMOs still rely heavily on standard definitions of success such as on time, to-budget project delivery to measure their worth.
  • Return on investment (ROI) is being used less this year to measure training impact (25%) than last year (30%).
  • Three out of five PMOs are actively engaged in selecting collaboration software. Most regions have a high adoption rate, with the exception of parts of Asia.
  • Approximately 55% claimed the value of their PMO was called into question by key stakeholders, a move up from nearly 40% in 2011. Executive scrutiny plagues two out of three PMOs that are called into question.
  • This year even fewer PMOs (70%) are measuring the actual impact of their training compared to last year (76%).

“While many organizations may aspire to build the Next-Gen PMO, the majority of PMOs have a long way to go before reaching that status,” said ESI Executive Vice President J. LeRoy Ward, PMP, PgMP. “The Next-Gen PMO is a business-minded one that utilizes ROI for its training impact and effectiveness measurement along with active engagement in learning sustainment.”

Download The State of the Project Management Office: On the Road to the Next Generation.