Business Challenges 2.2 – Program and Project Management

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In today’s fast-paced business world, companies must be agile and responsive to changes to remain competitive. Implementing a program management office (PMO) and transitioning to a project-based organization based on a proven methodology is an effective way to achieve this goal. Today we provide a definition of a couple of key terms, the benefits of implementing a PMO, considerations, and steps to transition a business to a project-based organization by implementing a PMO based on scaled agile methodology.

Key Terms –

  • Program Management Office (PMO) – A PMO is a centralized department within an organization that provides support and oversight for IT project management activities.
  • IT Project Management – IT project management involves the use of standardized project management processes and methodologies to ensure that IT projects are aligned with the PMO’s strategic objectives and that they are completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of business stakeholders and customers.
  • Scaled Agile Methodology – Scaled Agile (or SAFe for short) enables cross-functional work by staff with different roles to complete IT projects that require coordination, collaboration, and visibility to complete on time and within budget.

The benefits of implementing program management based on scaled agile methodology are numerous. Some of the key benefits are:

  1. Improved Time-to-Market: Scaled agile methodology enables organizations to deliver high-quality products or services faster. Teams work together in a coordinated manner, resulting in faster delivery of products or services.
  2. Increased Collaboration: Scaled agile methodology promotes collaboration between teams. When teams work together, they are more likely to share knowledge and best practices, resulting in a better end product.
  3. Improved Quality: Scaled agile methodology includes continuous testing and integration, which results in better quality products. The iterative approach enables teams to identify and fix issues quickly, resulting in better-quality products.
  4. Improved Transparency: Scaled agile methodology includes regular check-ins and status updates. This results in improved transparency, and all team members are aware of the project’s progress.
  5. Increased Customer Satisfaction: Scaled agile methodology focuses on delivering value to the customer. When customers receive value, they are more likely to be satisfied, resulting in repeat business.
The benefits of Scaled Agile go beyond software development. It can transform the entire organization, bringing teams together and aligning them to the same vision and goals.” – Richard Knaster

Steps to Implementation

Implementing a SAFe PMO requires careful planning and execution. The following are the steps an organization’s IT team and executive stakeholders can take –

  1. Understand the current state: Before implementing a scaled agile PMO, it is essential to understand the current state of the organization’s IT department. This includes evaluating the current project management methodology and identifying areas that need improvement.
  2. Define the PMO’s scope: The next step is to define the scope of the PMO. This includes identifying the projects that will be managed by the PMO, the level of authority the PMO will have, and the governance model that will be used.
  3. Develop a roadmap: Once the PMO’s scope is defined, the IT team and executive stakeholders need to develop a roadmap for implementing the PMO. This roadmap should include timelines, milestones, and the steps required to achieve each milestone.
  4. Identify the required services and tools – Implementing a scaled agile PMO requires the adoption of various services and tools. These include agile project management software, project portfolio management software, and other tools that enable collaboration, communication, and transparency.
  5. Define the PMO’s governance model – The PMO’s governance model defines how the PMO will operate, including how decisions will be made, how risks will be managed, and how performance will be monitored.
  6. Develop a training plan – Once the PMO is established, the IT team and executive stakeholders need to develop a training plan to ensure that everyone involved understands the PMO’s processes and tools.
  7. Implement the PMO – The final step is to implement the PMO, including setting up the necessary infrastructure, hiring or training staff, and launching the PMO.


Implementing program management based on scaled agile methodology can be challenging, but the benefits are worth it. Improved time-to-market, increased collaboration, improved quality, improved transparency, and increased customer satisfaction are just some of the benefits that organizations can experience.

To succeed, organizations must embrace the cultural shift, have a strong foundation in agile principles and practices, and prioritize effective communication. Furthermore, the success of any PMO is more probable with careful planning and coordination.

About iLLÜM Advisors

We are passionate about helping our clients overcome IT challenges without simply throwing money at solutions without a measurement for success. We accomplish this by enabling their existing IT teams to deliver transformative solutions with velocity and improve cyber risk postures.

Our team of senior IT leaders and project managers support our clients with an industry-leading IT management methodology and cyber risk management platform to help organizations of all sizes tackle their most pressing IT challenges. All our service options are provided on a month-to-month basis without long-term commitments.

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