Cross-PMO Communication

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.

There has been a lot of recent talk about Enterprise Program (or Project) Management Offices. The idea is that by creating a single centralized corporate-level PMO there will be economies of scale that can lead to greater project and program efficiency than with a number of department-level PMOs spread out across the various corporate functions within an organization.

I believe that EPMOs are going to continue to grow and evolve--and over time the vast majority of organizations will evolve their PMO models to an EPMO model. However, as I look at the way that companies manage their PMOs today, I can’t help thinking that there is a lot of work ahead before a successful EPMO can be implemented.

The PMO silo
The vast majority of PMOs today are structured as self-contained silos. It’s ironic that as project management embraces the concept of matrix models the PMO itself is still remarkably insular. The expectation is that the PMO that “owns” the project will apply its own way of doing things--and that resources that are assigned to those projects will have to adjust to any variations from the way that they have experienced projects being executed elsewhere within the organization.

PMOs can get away with this because core project teams tend to operate under the auspices of a singular PMO most of the time--technology projects are managed by the…

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