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New Survey Reveals Emergence of the Next-Generation Project Management Office, Finds ESI International

Despite Higher Sophistication, PMOs Continue to be Called into Question by Key Stakeholders

London - July 11, 2012

ESI International, the world's leading project management training company, today unveiled the findings of its latest annual benchmarking survey, “The State of the Project Management Office: On the Road to the Next Generation.” The survey, which investigates the current role of the Project/Program Management Office (PMO), its development to full-blown maturity and value for the overall business, reveals the emergence of a new kind of PMO that ESI has identified as the “Next-Gen PMO.”

What is considered a Next-Gen PMO? Based on responses from over 3,000 respondents in more than 17 industries on six continents, ESI’s global survey revealed that Next-Gen PMOs:

  • actively engage in helping employees apply what they’ve learned in training back on the job,
  • are more business-oriented,
  • are considered more developed (so-called “maturity”),
  • have a stronger customer focus, and
  • are more valued than those that don’t assist in applying training back on the job.

ESI’s PMO survey points out the challenges that still face today’s PMOs:

  • In general, PMOs still rely heavily on standard definitions of success such as on time, to-budget project delivery to measure their worth.
  • Return on investment (ROI) is being used less this year to measure training impact (25%) than last year (30%).
  • Three out of five PMOs are actively engaged in selecting collaboration software. Most regions have a high adoption rate, with the exception of parts of Asia.
  • Approximately 55% claimed the value of their PMO was called into question by key stakeholders, a move up from nearly 40% in 2011. Executive scrutiny plagues two out of three PMOs that are called into question.
  • This year even fewer PMOs (70%) are measuring the actual impact of their training compared to last year (76%).

“While many organizations may aspire to build the Next-Gen PMO, the majority of PMOs have a long way to go before reaching that status,” said ESI International Executive Vice President J. LeRoy Ward. “The Next-Gen PMO is a business-minded one that utilizes ROI for its training impact and effectiveness measurement along with active engagement in learning sustainment.”

Download The State of the Project Management Office: On the Road to the Next Generation

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About ESI International

ESI International is a global project-focused training company, helping people around the world improve the way they manage projects, contracts, requirements and vendors through innovative training in project management, business analysis and contract management. In addition to ESI’s more than 100 courses delivered in more than a dozen languages at hundreds of locations worldwide, ESI offers several certificate programs through our educational partner, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1981, ESI’s worldwide headquarters are in Arlington, Va., USA. To date, ESI’s programs have benefited more than 1.35 million professionals worldwide. For more information visit