Several institutions have developed sophisticated approaches and set up metrics around the success or failure of the program office, according to HP's Greenlee. One way to measure the success of the PMO, he says, is to compare what a project would cost if the bank were starting from scratch to what the bank can do with what it already has. The PMO should help the bank facilitate reuse of systems and processes, Greenlee points out. As a result, the PMO should come in at or well below what the baseline costs would be, he says. Another way to see the success of the PMO is to measure how close a project sticks to its time line and budget, Greenlee adds.
Citigroup's Abuaf says the bank already has reaped the rewards of its project management team. "We are involved in four programs in the last year that had been problems [for the bank] in the past," Abuaf says. "We were able to achieve the goals of completing the programs on time and on task."
Most important, Citigroup finally is making decisions as a group, according to Abuaf, who arranged a program management council with representatives from each sector of the bank. So far, the group has been able to agree on one set of program management tools for the entire organization -- down from 15 tools previously, he says. It uses Planview Enterprise from Austin, Texas-based Planview for its enterprisewide decision-making platform.
A strong PMO -- with the right program structures and the right people -- creates shared responsibility and a shared accountability, and there's a higher likelihood of success for projects, Fifth Third's Robinson says. "There will be communication breakdowns," he concedes. "But for the most part, that's behind us." *