Bluebik Group Co., Ltd., a leading consultant specializing in strategy development and technology and innovation management, disclosed that almost 100% of its consulting business customers turn to adopt PMO services in parallel with digital transformation to speed up the completion. The firm pointed out that PMO is a key function to drive the transformation mission towards its goals.
There are 3 levels of PMO, “Passive”, “Activist”, and “Accountable”. Previously, most organizations used the “Passive PMO” with the main focus on overall management. But it was not an effective solution for the transformation as it came with an opportunity loss and high costs. Currently, businesses turn to use PMO models that go beyond the “Passive PMO” with a view to expediting transition and strengthening operations in the digital era.
Mr. Pochara Arayakarnkul, CEO of Bluebik Group, shared his view that in the 4.0 digital age, every organization looks to pay more attention to transformation so that businesses can compete in the fast-changing business arena.
Many organizations started with sound initiatives and strategies but over 80% had to suffer transformation failures which were mainly caused by the following 6 factors: 1. The lack of passion for change. 2. Attitude issues 3. Internal politics 4. The lack of expertise 5. The lack of mutual understanding between management and operational people, and 6. Cross-functional coordination issues
The heart of doing transformation is “Speed”. This is because “An opportunity loss comes with tremendous costs.” In the digital era, launching products or services one step behind rivals means a big impact on businesses or a chance to lose their places in the market.
There is no fixed formula for doing transformation. Based on Bluebik’s experience, what is commonly found in most successful organizations is that they set up a unit called “Program Management Office” or “PMO” exclusively dedicated to this particular mission with clear directions and goals and special abilities to control and coordinate activities according to plan and schedule.
PMO is established as a special unit with an aim to manage projects or programs for an organization to achieve specific goals. Currently, various organizations are seeking advice from consulting firms to provide them with PMO solutions due to high flexibility and convenience. PMO is viewed as a tool to contribute to the success of the transformation as strategically planned.
Ms. Chantacha Suwannajitr, Chief Operation Officer (COO) of Blueblik Group Co., Ltd., added that “Most of our customers conduct digital transformation in parallel with the adoption of PMO solutions. This is because every organization realizes that PMO is a key catalyst for digital transformation success. For example, Bluebik provides consultation on PMO solutions for BCI (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (BCI stands for Blockchain Community Initiative).
BCI provides blockchain services for financial institutions with a total of 22 commercial banks in its portfolio. The first service launched is the blockchain service for letters of credit (L/C). This service helps reduce operational costs and facilitates L/C processes. Through this project, Bluebik joined hands with BCI in its official release of the blockchain system (Go Live) to provide blockchain-based L/C services for the first time (Wave 1) in June.
Bluebik continues to work with BCI in expanding its scope of L/C services on the blockchain system going forward. The keys to the success of the PMO unit include the following: “Good Attitudes” meaning the ability to manage different processes across functional units and understand the true characteristics of each entity to coordinate with; “Proactive Work Style” meaning the ability to work quickly, find quick-fix ways to solve problems at hand, and think of solutions and manage projects with expertise, speed and agility; and “Clear Communication” meaning the ability to manage communications that are suited to respective functional units and people.”
PMO can be divided into the following 2 levels:
· Passive PMO refers to the way to manage projects with a broad-based focus and attention to the quality of management processes such as documentation and project status.
· Activist PMO refers to the way to manage projects together with project managers and work closely with team members in a proactive manner and possibly with a plan to mitigate potential risks in a timely manner.
· Accountable PMO refers to the way to manage projects from upstream to downstream levels on one’s own throughout the entire process to achieve specific project goals.
Most organizations are familiar with applying the “Passive PMO” with the main focus on overall management. However, if organizations want to ensure their business transformation success, especially when speed is a matter of concern, they need to have Activist or Accountable PMO teams with more agility, flexibility and enthusiasm as compared to Passive PMO teams. However, finding a person who is knowledgeable and possessing the right mindset for a PMO team at a higher level than “Passive” is a very challenging and difficult task.
That person must be able to cope with new tasks constantly, learn new things fast, have direct skills in project management, and start new projects from scratch. Consulting firms or PMO outsourcing services may be a solution for finding that right person. This is because the type or nature of work of those companies requires people who can deal with different kinds of work with a proactive work style so as to handle projects with complicated demands and a short execution time. Therefore, many organizations are shifting to use external PMO teams for faster results.