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Retail PMO Best Practices

Contributors: David Patterson

In today’s environment, it’s helpful to establish a retail PMO (project management office). As businesses evaluate their own program and project management operations, however, there are a few retail PMO best practices to keep in mind. 

Retail PMO Best Practices

First, it’s important to establish scope management standards across the portfolio. A dedicated process should be in place to ensure that you’re staying in scope and on plan throughout the duration of the project. Secondly, communication is always going to be a major key to success. This means communicating up front with a proactive mindset and having a structured, approved communication plan to keep all teams and stakeholders informed. Lastly, effective project and program managers continually “look around the corner,” as it’s crucial to understand where projects are headed – not only to direct the day-to-day schedule, but to also evaluate how best to navigate potential risks.  

Risk management is another key focus when evaluating your program and project management capabilities. The most successful organizations embrace risk with an open mindset by seeing the potential failure as an opportunity to learn. These organizations take a collaborative approach to risk management and try to mitigate consequences from the beginning versus having a reactionary plan. This is a crucial aspect of project and program management that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

To build upon these retail PMO best practices, Clarkston has also developed five guiding principles for effective program management: 

Identifying existing initiatives to better prioritize competing work

Building a defined business case with metrics to measure progress, success, and value delivered

Disciplined Execution
Remaining focused on schedule, budget, and resourcing, while minimizing disruption to operations and streamlining handoff

Behavioral Change
Designing structure to involve stakeholders, engaging the organization, evaluating behavioral changes, and aligning the workforce

Defining and structuring processes for communication, status reporting, and issue/risk escalation

These principles are implemented as critical success factors when we are brought in as a part of your initiatives. Using our own implementation experiences as a foundation, our team has also built a Project Management Toolkit with various accelerators to help our clients quickly lay a firm foundation for their projects no matter the complexity or size.  

For more on retail PMO best practices, Clarkston can help. 


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Contributions from Jenn Woodbury 

Tags: Project & Program Management