Leadership: PMO Style

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I’ve increasingly begun to think about personal style--the approach you take to performing your work--when it comes to project execution. I have long believed that project management is more art than science--success coming down to the way an individual project manager chooses to apply their skills rather than the skills themselves.

When you think about it, that makes sense. Project management is about building teams of people committed to working together for a successful outcome, and the approach the leader takes to building that team will go a long way toward determining how effectively the team ultimately performs. Style is really an extension of that, and as PMOs become more significant factors in project execution, so it becomes a more important consideration for the heads of those PMOs.

All organizations have both a corporate culture and a desired corporate culture. Usually the two are somewhat different, with the desired culture (and potentially the culture perceived to exist by executives) being somewhat more positive than the reality. Culture takes a long time to change, and it needs buy-in from all areas of the organization at all times.

On the other hand, personal style is an individual’s own embodiment of the corporate culture, and can be relatively easy to change and evolve. Further, as an individual’s style begins to influence those …

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