Unlocking the potential

PMO management best practice emphasises the importance of understanding your stakeholders. Little attention is given to the need for stakeholders to understand the PMO. The capability and expertise that your PMO has to offer can remain un-tapped if executives and internal clients don't know what is available, don't understand what it means for them, lack confidence in the likely outcomes, or perceive the cost of working with the PMO as too high.

You have a responsibility for enabling your stakeholders to reap the benefits of their PMO. This means ensuring they have the necessary knowledge about their PMO, have trust in PMO insight and confidence that the PMO can deliver the promise. Traditional communications is not enough: mis-perceptions or wrong expectations create barriers. Enabling your stakeholders to unlock the potential of their PMO requires a different marketing approach.

Marketing Your PMO

At Marketing In Control we have developed a different approach to marketing the PMO. Our methodology applies relationship marketing principles and best practice to help you build deeper relationships between your PMO and your stakeholders.

We have created a unique framework specifically to address the marketing issues and needs of PMOs. Our model builds and sustains stakeholder relationships by refining the way the PMO operates. Rather than adding to 'marketing' roles and responsibilities of the PMO team, marketing activities are integrated into the PMO operating model. Using the framework to identify the information needed to drive the marketing process, we can help you to develop the tools and techniques required to influence stakeholder understanding, respect and trust.

Highly valued PMOs are seen as making significant contributions to performance. The ability to show contribution to performance at a reasonable cost is critical.
— Hobbs & Aubry (2007)
ensure the potential of your PMo is not constrained by perceptions and expectations. give stakeholders the knowledge and confidence they need to reap the benefits.

ensure the potential of your PMo is not constrained by perceptions and expectations. give stakeholders the knowledge and confidence they need to reap the benefits.

Workshops and training

Our workshop "Unlocking PMO Value" gives your team the tools to unlock the potential of your PMO: processes to change perceptions and build PMO reputation, gap analysis frameworks to manage expectations and customer satisfaction, research methods to reveal PMO value, templates to improve communications and build trust. Find out more.

5 elements in the marketing framework


1. Building Trust

A foundation stone for relationships is the PMO reputation. It is the impression that people have about the relevance of the PMO to their particular problem, and how well the PMO will meet their basic needs.

Influencing your PMO reputation involves:

  • understanding and monitoring stakeholder needs in terms of products and services, and also service quality
  • monitoring the gap between expectations of service schedule and quality and user experience
  • identifying actions to manage quality issues and reduce the expectation gap
  • designing the customer satisfaction management process
  • monitoring and reporting continuous improvement
  • producing and publishing case studies to create a track record of success aligned to meeting business needs

3. Revealing PMO Value

PMO value is not obvious to an external observer. PMO benefits are invisible, hidden within reports of project performance and efficiency improvements; PMO activities may look like low value administrative tasks whilst actually be providing insight essential for improving project management capability.

Improving stakeholder understanding of PMO value involves:

  • understanding the how service users perceive PMO value
  • developing processes to monitor and report perceived value and intangible benefits
  • monitoring the gap between delivered and reported PMO value
  • publishing case studies illustrating the cost:benefit contribution of the PMO
  • designing and managing client-value reviews to enable internal advocacy


5. Sustaining Relationships

PMOs operate in a constantly changing environment: business needs mature; the range of stakeholders grows as the PMO reach extends. Stakeholders may not know what they need from their PMO. Sustaining long term relationships requires proactively addressing stakeholders' problems to demonstrate the relevance and alignment of the PMO.

Maintaining long term stakeholder relationships involves:

  • understanding the issues keeping stakeholders awake
  • producing and publishing solution guides to illustrate how PMO capabilities can help to resolve complex issues
  • reporting evolution of PMO priorities and activities as technology or stakeholder capabilities have reduced admin overheads
  • improving PMO communications capabilities to handle increasingly complex problems as the organisation matures

2. Reducing Barriers

Stakeholder perceptions of the cost that may be incurred as a result of working with the PMO, or the perception that self-service is good enough if not better, can block stakeholder engagement and buy-in. 

Reducing potential barriers involves:

  • understanding perceived costs that prevent stakeholder engagement
  • understanding self-service preferences
  • identifying and reducing hidden costs of working with the PMO
  • monitoring the gap between perceived and real costs
  • identifying actions to manage cost issues
  • identifying actions to reduce the perception gap
  • producing case studies to illustrate how PMO-driven initiatives deliver benefits at reasonable cost

4. Instilling Confidence

The experience that stakeholders have when they engage with your team has a significant impact on their confidence and respect for PMO expertise and capability. Managing that experience requires setting expectations as well as streamlining the customer journey.

Building credibility and confidence involves:

  • understanding and optimising stakeholder journeys
  • monitoring the gap between communications quality and the PMO 'value promise'
  • integrating PMO internal communications into the stakeholder experience process
  • managing stakeholder expectations about SLA's, PMO services, roles & responsibilities
  • reporting PMO efficiency improvements to create a track record of cost minimisation
  • reporting PMO evidence of the performance of P3M tools and processes to create a track record of expertise

Find out more

Marketing for non-marketers

Marketing In Control has developed a unique approach for marketing PMOs. Find out more about our 5P's framework:

Contact us

Please get in touch for a no-obligation discussion about how you can market your PMO.