Recent shutdowns and delays in reaction to the ongoing pandemic and resulting social distancing measures have placed pressure on every industry to keep projects on schedule and on budget. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a lack of resources for many organizations, straining many teams with increased workload and less staff to complete projects.

A “project management” maturity assessment, conducted by an experienced outside project management office (PMO) team, can help organizations identify execution challenges in the organizations project portfolio. After identifying gaps in a program’s life cycle, that same outside team can assist clients in providing recommendations for and implementing feasible solutions.

An Efficient Workload

While much has changed in reaction to COVID-19, organizations’ capital spending remains the same. PMO services, like a maturity assessment, provides the insight needed to create a more efficient project life cycle by not only identifying challenges but providing proven solutions. A maturity assessment analyzes an organization’s people, processes and products and grades each aspect to help organizations determine where improvement might be needed.

Depending on the gap being resolved, organizations may need a temporary or long-term solution. For example, the analysis may reveal that organizational change management needs to improve to keep projects moving forward. An experienced team can provide the tools and experience needed to develop a logical solution in collaboration with the client.

PMO Technology Trial

Many teams may also be hesitant to make a large PMO investment, especially with an unstable financial market, to resolve gaps in the project life cycle identified from a maturity assessment. Clients can leverage our program controls toolbox, which provides access to state-of-the-art project management technology and allows clients to test solutions for feasibility before adopting as an enterprise.

An experienced team can assist in the testing of such technology to help an organization determine what might be a good fit before making a million-dollar investment in unknown software. Throughout every step of the process, a PMO team can carry an organization from challenge identification to developing resolutions unique to an organization’s situation and needs.


Successful project management is vital in utilities. Discover how technology solutions are evolving to meet the changing industry and keep up with demand.

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Bob Wolfe is director of program management at Burns & McDonnell. He helps lead large-scale programs across the AEC industry.