Digital transformation has been sweeping through organisations to meet the demands of our digitised world. However, successful digital transformation requires more than implementing digital tools. It is essential that organisations change foundational cultures, structures, and methodologies. Therefore, organisations most effectively execute their digital transformation when they undertake their digital transformations in project management. As more organisations take on this approach, the role of their PMO evolves.

Through this blog, we will explore the impact of digital transformation in project management. In addition, we’ll outline how PMOs can position themselves to be positive drivers of digital transformation. 

Digital Transformation: An Overview

Digital transformation is not a new concept. Businesses are always striving to find new ways to adopt and leverage emerging technologies to improve their processes. As our world becomes increasingly digitised, it’s no surprise that digital-based transformations are increasingly common. Prior to COVID-19, research from PTC suggested that 70% of organisations already had a digital transformation strategy or were developing one. Many organisations had also created a Digital Transformation Office, or DTO, to manage their digital transformation.

Digital transformation can bring a whole range of benefits to an organisation. These can include:

  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Higher product quality
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Reduced development costs

Organisations have had to quickly adopt new technologies to support remote work and an increased customer demand for online services. In fact, according to the IMF, 65% of the world’s GDP is predicted to be digitised by 2022. 

This doesn’t come without challenges. General conventions of work, organisational culture, processes and mindset cannot be completely carried through into digital space. Therefore, when an organisation successfully adapts to flexible hours, dispersed teams, and a volatile market, the organisation has successfully adjusted its foundational practices and structures.

Digital Transformation in Project Management: How

As a digital transformation is generally an organisation-wide initiative, it can very easily become a complex and time-consuming plan. Therefore, many organisations have chosen digital transformation as a project which the project management team should execute. This is because a successful implementation will require concepts that are intrinsic to project management. These concepts include project scheduling, resource allocation, work breakdown structures, and benefits management. In addition, project managers have the experience to implement strategies to increase the adoption rate of the new processes.

It can be challenging to implement a digital transformation, especially in an enterprise-sized organisation. Read our article on how to successfully execute a digital transformation in a larger organisation.

Why involve your PMO in Digital Transformation?

Ideally, your PMO (project management office) is the team who regularly optimises processes, while collecting data. From these roles, they have an elevated position for decision-making, and are aware of organisational culture and environment. As earlier mentioned, they also are familiar with change management practices and strategies which the organisation employs.

As a strategic arm of an organisation, the PMO plays a critical role in achieving an organisation’s strategic goals. They ensure that the right tools, processes, and cultures are in place to meet requirements for project success.

A PMO which is effectively filling its role will be at the forefront of up and coming technologies. They will constantly be evaluating new opportunities that enable the organisation to make the most out of these technologies. So, if your organisation is looking to initiate a digital transformation, passing that initiative to the PMO is a great way to go.

Here are some ways PMOs can drive digital transformation in your organisation:

5 ways the PMO drives digital transformation

1. PMOs can inspire and encourage change

No one adapts to change easily, especially if your organisation does not have a culture accustomed to change. One of the most critical components of a successful digital transformation is gaining buy-in from all key stakeholders. They need to know why this change is important and how it can benefit the organisation. By making the benefits of the change personal, teams are more likely to want to invest in digital transformation initiatives. 

Additionally, PMOs ensure that people feel that their opinions are heard and that they have an influence on big decisions. PMOs can introduce clear feedback systems that make sure all relevant feedback is easily provided, evaluated, and actioned.

2. PMOs act as the strategic arm

PMOs need to make sure that their digital transformation strategy aligns with the organisation’s overarching strategy. For example, if an organisation’s strategic objective is cutting costs, the PMO will choose software that fits the organisation’s needs, not the most high-end option. However, PMOs also need to understand the strategic value of digital technology investments. Only then can they quantify, justify, and execute plans they believe would provide the most value to the organisation.

3. PMOs provide support and insight

Digital transformation programs are often enterprise-wide initiatives. Therefore, they require continual support and reports on their progress and success. With the help of an effective PPM solution, PMOs can easily provide support for the organisation’s employees through virtual portals while also gathering Big Data to help evaluate how effective and efficient the new tools are. Providing support and insight not only helps ease digital technology adoption but also gives greater evidence to the success of these initiatives that can act as justification for future digital transformation investments.

4. PMOs properly manage transformations

Introducing new technology often involves including new teams and building new skills to make sure the adoption process is as smooth as possible. As the central hub of truth, PMOs are able to see the big-picture impact of digital transformation initiatives, manage potential bottlenecks or pressure points and optimise their ongoing processes to make sure digital transformation initiatives are successful. Managing digital transformation involves making sure that all the necessary resources, skills, feedback systems, and data collection practices are in place.

5. PMOs enable successful digital adoption

PMOs can help show employees just how exciting and useful tools can be to increase employee engagement and investment into a new tool. From providing interactive demos to hosting learning sessions, PMOs have the critical role of getting people excited about the digital initiative, giving them all the necessary resources they need to effectively use or implement the digital tool and encouraging greater usage of the tools or process. When more people use the tool, there is more data to properly evaluate the digital initiatives’ overall effectiveness. 

Some ways to encourage greater usage of tools or processes can be by highlighting successes made through the digital initiative with teams and throughout the organisation. If people can see how the initiative is benefiting others, they may be more inclined to try to make it work for themselves.

Get started on your digital transformation program with pmo365

What better way to get started on your digital transformation program than partnering with leading PPM experts and building a solution that meets your exact needs? pmo365 is a Microsoft-endorsed Project Portfolio Management solution that designs fit-for-purpose PPM solutions that cater to your unique business needs and aim to give you complete visibility and control over your organisation and its projects.

If you want to know more about how pmo365 can help your digital transformation program, make sure to chat with our experts and see our solution in action!

Laith Adel
Laith Adel