Project Portfolio Office looks at the current state of the local portfolio and project management, releasing results of first PMO Insights Report

Project Portfolio Office, a solution provider that helps organisations achieve greater project success, has released findings of the first ever comprehensive analysis of project management offices (PMOs) within South Africa. Project Portfolio Office equips businesses with processes to drive operational efficiency by either implementing a new project management office (PMO), operating a PMO, or optimising and maturing existing PMOs.

The survey, titled ‘The PMO Insight Report 2019’, saw PMO leaders, executives and managers, as well as portfolio and programme managers, from 161 participating organisations of all sizes across 19 different sectors – from ICT and financial services to construction, manufacturing, energy, and mining – providing input on current local trends within portfolio and project management.

The 2019 report delves into the current state of local PMOs, including a look at the local adoption of Agile methodologies, top PMO functions and services, key PMO processes, critical challenges and priorities and more, while also making recommendations on how local PMOs could navigate significant challenges.

“We are encouraged to see from the results of the first PMO Insights Report that, despite a turbulent few years characterised by an uncertain business climate and increasing competition, local businesses have confidence that effective project portfolio management (PPM) practices are essential to success,” explains Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office. “This means that organisations within South Africa are seeing value from their investments in improving portfolio and project management practices.”

However, Jelley adds, the results also point to the fact that there is still more work to be done for PMOs to be recognised as trusted, strategic partners delivering ongoing value to the business and its structure.

Key findings from executive-level respondents to the survey include the following points:

  • Only 22 percent of strategic projects are managed by project managers within the PMO, highlighting a certain level of distrust in the 78 percent that are managed by non-project manager or outside of the PMO;
  • Twenty-five percent of PMOs do not provide any type of portfolio and project status reporting;
  • Executives are emphasising benefits management for the alignment of projects, programmes and portfolios to strategy as a key improvement area they want to see their PMOs deliver. 

PMO leaders, on the other hand, had the following to say:

  • They are generally getting the C-Level support required, with only 15 percent of PMO leaders not receiving the funding needed to support a PMO, and 26 percent citing inadequate executive support;
  • Fifty-six percent of PMOs aim to tackle the excessive time spent on reporting through the better use of reporting, analytics and dashboard tools;
  • However, only 34 percent are planning to implement a benefits realisation process.

“Our research found that there were disparities between the way that executives and PMO leaders view their PMO’s performance when it comes to measuring maturity, formulating and driving strategy, executing strategic projects, and recognising the need to improve benefits and resource management capabilities,” says Jelley. “Executives continue to focus on bridging strategy formulation, as well as the execution, building and sustaining of basic project management capabilities, while PMO leaders are more concerned with governing the methodology, and the provision of tools and templates.

“The research reinforces the growing strategic value of the PMO, but also brings to light the clear gaps between the way in which executives and PMO leaders view the functions and services delivered within the PMO environment.

“It is clear from the survey results that the C-suite is looking to PMOs to become a stronger driver of overall business strategy, with the disciplines of project and benefits realisation management in particular key to achieving business value as a direct result of successful project delivery.”

To download the full report, please visit


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