Beyond Just To-Do Lists: Why PMOs Have to Be More Strategic

Life is full of mundane and repetitive tasks. Doing your laundry. Driving to the office. Making grocery lists. Scheduling appointments.

Still, among all the mounting to-do lists and unchecked boxes, something keeps us going, right? Something keeps us motivated to accomplish these tasks day in and day out: Usually, we can tie those mundane tasks to an overall goal. Like supporting a family you love, saving up to buy a house, improving your health, or training for that next stage in your career.

Well, the same goes for project management. Especially if you’re thrown into the role of project management officer (PMO), your work day can seem like a giant, never-ending list of follow-ups and scheduled meetings. In fact, we found that 77% of project management feel overwhelmed or overworked by the amount of projects they’re managing. And only a meager 8% say they’re not overwhelmed at all.

But the good news is, if you can tie those project management duties to an overall business goal, you can better understand why you’re tasked with completing them and how they’ll actually pay off in the long run.

Feeling a bit more optimistic about your to-do list? Don’t worry, the pep talk doesn’t end there! Here’s a closer look at why — and how — today’s PMOs can be more strategic in their careers.

Build projects from the top down, not the bottom up

In the Netflix mockumentary series, Cunk on Earth, host Philomena Cunk asks a historian if the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built from the top down or the bottom up. The historian replies that they were, of course, built from the bottom up because “it would be impossible to start at the top and work down.”

While that’s true, this is also true: Once Egyptians placed those foundational blocks, they actually laid the outer stones from the top down.

All that is to say, starting from the top down isn’t impossible for project managers. In fact, it’s a necessity. And just like the Egyptians used this strategy to finish the Great Pyramids, PMOs must take this approach to building out their project management tasks and calendars.

Meaning, they need to start by defining the overall value their projects will provide and the goals they’ll meet within the organization. Then, they can build their teams and tasks from there. So each little step and checked box along the way ultimately ties back to that bigger value-add.

Pan out to see the bigger picture — literally

It’s important not just to start building strategies from the top down, but to also frequently audit and refresh those strategies, making sure you’re on track towards your goals. So maybe instead of a top-down approach, it’s more like a top-down-top-down-top-down approach. That is, you’re constantly checking in and referring back to the “top,” where it all stems from. 

The best way to do this is to zoom out and get a bird’s-eye-view of your entire project portfolio. There’s where an adaptive project management platform like Proggio can help. 

adaptive project management platform
With Proggio, you can view your whole project portfolio in one quick glance and check the status of each project. You can also rank those projects based on priorities and business goals, so you never lose sight of the bigger picture — even when that growing to-do list feels overwhelming.

Ready to streamline your project management strategy? Book a demo with Proggio to get started.