Should You Hire a Chief Project Officer for Your Firm?

As the number of projects increases, their success becomes significant for organizations. Many organizations generate revenue by performing only projects, such as engineering and consultancy firms. If you are one of those ‘project-oriented’ organizations, consider hiring a chief project officer (CPO) to ensure your projects align with strategic goals. So, what is the role of a CPO? How different are they from project managers? In this article at Harvard Business Review, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez explains the benefits a CPO can bring, how to understand whether your organization needs a CPO, and how to hire one.

What Is the Role of a Chief Project Officer?

The author says that over 30 years ago, nearly 80% of the resources in an organization were dedicated to operations and merely 20% to projects. But the ratio has flipped today. However, the lack of clarity and ownership in the project space is still a common challenge. “Combined with the exponential growth in projects this obscurity leads to silo thinking, project overload, demotivation, projects not delivered, and a massive amount of resources wasted and value lost,” says Nieto-Rodriguez. A chief project officer plays a vital role here. CPOs push their organizations toward adopting a project-driven structure. Furthermore, they promote a collaborative and empowering culture across silos.

Are There Any Advantages to Hiring a CPO?

CPOs are the ‘voice of projects’ at the board level. They shape a project-friendly culture and improve project performance, programs, and portfolios aligned with the organization’s overall strategy. Hiring a CPO helps you enhance your governance and management system, prioritize decision-making processes, and most importantly, sustainably increase the organization’s maturity in project management.

Sitting at the board level alongside the traditional roles, such as chief information officer (CIO), chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief financial officer (CFO), CPOs lead the implementation of organizational strategies through relevant projects. They select, prioritize, and terminate projects to ensure ongoing initiatives contribute significantly to the sustainable growth of their organization.

To read the original article, click on https://hbr.org/2022/04/the-rise-of-the-chief-project-officer.

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