PMO Survival19. Dezember, 2010
Particularly under tight economic conditions, companies’ project portfolios are under pressure: Projects need to be selected more carefully, and those projects who are being implemented need to be performed professionally, so that they actually help the business.
PMOs (Project Management Offices) seemed to be somewhat of a hot topic in 2010. There were lots of presentations on conferences like the PM-Forum, full conferences dedicated to PMOs, and many articles in journals.
One common message was conveyed in all of these: A PMO needs strong stakeholder orientation! This applies both up and down the chain as well as laterally. In order for a PMO to succeed, it must a) be aware of their stakeholders (wide focus here) and b) must produce value / quick wins for the most important stakeholder groups at the onset.
Two critical stakeholders for PMOs are typically the Project Managers in the organization as well as management. When starting a PMO (or trying to improve an existing one), care must be taken to help both groups. As needs and objectives don’t fully overlap, this becomes a tiny bit more interesting, though not impossible. Management could be provided with reports and escalations, while Project Managers are offered services that really help them succeed with their projects, making their life easier.
PMI posted an interesting article in the November 2010 PM Network journal: ‘The PMO Survival Guide‘. Recommended!
One quote in the article sums it up nicely:
‘It’s important to talk to both sides. Executives want transparency, and Project Managers need an advocate. That’s the PMO’s role.’
I believe that 2011 will be another year with interesting developments around PMOs, one of them being the agile / lean PMO. Stay tuned!