PMO Benchmarking: Do You Have the Right Tools?

No Project Management Office is perfect. But high performers stand out thanks to their ability to improve continuously. To that end, successful PMOs engage in regular benchmarking to understand how they fare and perform, with tools serving as an essential success factor for this type of assessment. But to create value, they must be the right fit for the organizationHere’s an introduction to PMO benchmarking, along with guidance to select the right supporting tool. 


What is Benchmarking for the PMO? 

If you’re reading this article, you may be looking to increase your PMO or PPM maturity level. The first step involves benchmarking your current state in order to improve. The process should be familiar. Benchmarking is all about setting goals (or KPIs). You’re probably already doing this for all your projects when it comes to things like: 

  • Budget, scope, and timelines
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Performance on the market

As you know, this process can be difficult if past project performance data and KPIs aren’t readily available. The same goes for PMO benchmarking. To assess where you stand and where you want to go, you need dynamic data capabilities. One great way to improve your benchmarking is to adopt PPM software for data automation and consolidation. 

Why Adopt a PPM tool for PMO Benchmarking? 

A PPM tool offers a centralized platform for planning, monitoring, and controlling projects and PMO data. It provides real-time visibility into the project portfolio, enabling PMOs to make informed decisions based on accurate information. PPM software facilitates resource management, allowing PMOs to optimize resource allocation and ensure that projects align with strategic objectives 

Importantly, these tools come equipped with dynamic reporting and analytics features. They empower PMOs to compare historical and current performance data and measure progress over time. They’ll let you track how you are faring against the KPIs you’ve defined and to measure outcomes against industry standards. This way, you can easily identify where your key performance gaps lie, and respond with the appropriate strategy. 

In other words, a PPM tool will help your PMO improve, gain maturity, and eventually meet and exceed KPIs. But with so many on the market, how can an organization know which is right for them? 

The Consequences of Having “Not So Right” PMO Tools 

Lacking the right tools is behind so many horror stories for PMOs. Without a proper PPM tool, project teams usually manage activity using hundreds of disconnected worksheets. The absence of workflow automation and communication features translates in countless emails. The results? Waste of time and resources, lack of motivation, information unreliability, project failure. 

Adopting the wrong tool (one that lacks functionality, or one that is too sophisticated for your PMO maturity level) will have the same consequences as not having a PPM tool at all. Software unsuited to the needs of the company and the team will simply remain in the closet. Similarly, a tool established at the organizational level may prove useful for a department, but not for the others. Many factors can therefore lead to the abandonment of the tool, without solving your initial problems.  

How to Choose the Right PMO Tool

There are many PMO tools available in the market. Some focus on a specific area of project management. Other more comprehensive tools address all aspects of PPM by combining a range of functionalities. Some concentrate on usability and the quality of user experience, while others emphasize functional performance.  

There is no golden rule when it comes to benchmarking and choosing your PMO tool. The right fit for your PMO really depends on your specific needs and on your PPM maturity level.  

A young PMO in a smaller organization, with comparatively lower PPM maturity level, may thrive with a tool that a more “advanced” PMO would find too basic. And vice versa. 

It is therefore important to deploy a formal benchmarking strategy to figure out which PMO tool to go for. Download our “Do You Have the Right Tools for Your PMO?” eBook for a concrete plan to help you decide. Regardless of your organization’s shape, size, structure, or PMO maturity, the approach outlined in this eBook will help you make sure that your PMO has the toolset that is right for it at this point in time. 

Share the article


Camélia Docquin

Camélia is Sciforma’s Global Marketing Director and enjoys learning different perspectives of the current business environment and project management challenges that enterprises and individuals face daily. Main interests include : innovation, digital transformation, and strategy execution.