2. Integration Across All Projects
It's easy enough to say that a PMO needs to achieve program integration, but how does it actually do that? In an RMO, that's the job of what we call the "domain authority." This team of business and IT specialists should be responsible for establishing a common business and technical architecture for the program. Perhaps even more important, they should have the authority to make, communicate and enforce integration decisions consistently throughout the life of the program.
The success of the domain authority rests squarely on the strength of its members and its ability and authority to drive overall direction without having to tangle with day-to-day delivery details. You need to have the right domain specialists in place to drive integration--people who have a demonstrated ability to see the big picture and are unlikely to get sucked into the minutiae of program management along the way.
3. Stakeholder Buy-In
Without a focus on people, even the most elegant solutions won't be successful, which isn't news to anyone who has ever been involved with a successful program implementation. In an RMO, this responsibility should be clearly assigned to a team responsible for generating awareness, involvement and ownership among the community of people who will be affected by the program.
At this stage, "what, when and how" are important, but don't forget "why." If all involved understand why their world might be changing--as well as what it means to the company--they are more likely to truly adopt change. Linking people with outcomes is a key aspect of an effective RMO.
What's the expected result? You will finally have stakeholders who are aware of the program and know what business impact it will have on their organizations. The organization will also be prepared, trained and--most important--ready to adopt whatever changes are necessary to make the program successful.
In the end, you will have a program that has a much better chance of actually being adopted and embraced once it's launched throughout the business. If you've ever seen a technically great program fail at the hands of an apathetic community of business users, you already know just how big a deal this can be.
4. Program Management
Yes, program management! Keep in mind that the RMO isn't designed to replace the PMO. An effective PMO already does an effective job of tracking, monitoring and reporting, which are all key elements of any successful program.
So why mess with a good thing? The RMO should complement what is already working in the PMO, staying focused on ensuring that business value is being delivered.
The principles that shape the RMO approach shouldn't look new. What is new is that an effective RMO builds them into a structured, orderly process designed with one goal in mind: delivering real business value from investments in technology programs.
An effective PMO already holds program management accountable for hitting timing and budget milestones. Isn't it past time to make sure these programs hit the mark when it comes to delivering business results?
Diane Murray is a principal and Al Kagan a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP.