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IVAN SCHMIDT

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Book your PMO in for a service - before you run it into the ground

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Book your PMO in for a service - before you run it into the ground

Many organisations have a Project Management Office (PMO) to help deliver their projects successfully. For every PMO that is running well I can show you two that are not – they are underperforming or not delivering the desired business outcomes or they have unclear scope and objectives so it's impossible to measure success.

Have you ever thought about taking time out to reboot your PMO?


Now your answer is probably the same as a Project Manager friend of mine recently, "I've just done 16 months of 70-80 hour weeks including weekends and without a holiday. Show me where I've got time to take time out!"

You should start by asking, "What is our business strategy and what part does Project Management and our Project Management Office need to play to achieve it?" Take enough time to really think about this, your best results will be achieved from a foundation of clarity of purpose. Objectives can be wide-ranging: "Help deliver projects on time and to budget," "Improve project success rates and implement standard practice," "Provide reporting," “Improve transparency and communication to stakeholders” - but with clear stated objectives!

Next, carry out capability gap analysis on your PMO. Identify the key practices that need to be embedded within the PMO for it to improve process capabilities and achieve the next maturity level and really seek to understand (and improve) your organisation's capability to manage projects more effectively.

You should treat your PMO reboot with the same discipline you would treat a key transformational project. Know what outcomes you would like to achieve and how they will help achieve your operational goals. For instance, a six-part set of stated outcomes could be:

Align the project portfolio to business strategy
Prioritize Projects
Deliver Programs on-time, within budget + according to scope
Understand dependencies between Projects within the Programs
Improve communication within the Program team and all stakeholders
Optimize + rationalize delivery resources

Recognizing the importance of an effective PMO in delivering high-quality services and resources management, ensuring project success and meeting business objectives and cost/time constraints is an important first step.

Booking your PMO in for a service before you run it into the ground should be your critical next step.