All Aboard?

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.

This month I want to focus on helping people understand the PMO, why it exists, how it operates and what services it offers. First, I want to look at how new project managers are welcomed into the PMO and how they can become productive as soon as possible.

Whether an employee has been newly promoted to project management, has transferred from another part of the organization or is a new hire, they will have a lot of questions about how project management is done in the PMO that they are joining. Unlike some disciplines, there is no standard model for PMOs--so even the most experienced project managers will take some time to become familiar with the model of your PMO. In some cases they may actually require more time--they need to “unlearn” the way that they have done things in the past.

What needs to be learned?
When a PM joins a PMO we can assume that they have a basic level of project management knowledge--even if they are in their first project management job, they still likely have some experience with the necessary tools and techniques, and have probably undertaken some training. What they may not have is the concept of how those project management skills are applied in this particular PMO. Each of the following categories will likely require at least some degree of training/familiarization:

  • Methodology and process--Is an industry standard …

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