Ten Ways to Kill Your PMO (Part 1)

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with ProjectManagement.com for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

PMOs: The salvation to projects everywhere one month, and a cursed damnation the next. A panacea for some, a disaster for others. I am sure you have come across your share of successful and not-so-successful PMOs. I have.

Over the last decade, I have talked to many PMO stakeholders--sponsors, project managers, team members, customers and others. They have related stories about the plans for the running and disbanding of PMOs they have been involved in. Few of them had happy endings. Their PMOs often started off with so much promise and died with few people even taking notice of its passing. I have collected what I feel are the sure-fire approaches for disaster. If you want to kill your PMO, here are some tips on where to start…

Don’t Define Your Identity
The first way to kill your PMO is to not define your identity. Don’t define who you are, why you exist and what you offer to your community of stakeholders. By not giving yourself an identity, you will never have to worry about giving people a clear understanding of what you actually do. Leaving your client questioning what you actually do is a good way to know you’re going in the right direction.

The longer that your PMO takes to define itself, the more it will begin to be all things to all people. Your stakeholder audience will be forced to read between your limited lines--and they …

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