Selling the Value Of The PMO: What's In It For Me?

Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at markmullaly.com.

For the past few months, this column has explored some of the fundamental first steps necessary in the creation and development of an effective project management office. The focus has been on how to practically identify the mandate, purpose and functions that a PMO should support, and to be able to articulate a plan to develop your PMO to fulfill that mandate.

We have talked about measures, benchmarking and the ability to provide a comparative assessment of performance. At this point, you should be able to fully define what your PMO is, what it will do, and how you are going to measure its success. There is one thing that we haven't yet done, however--and that is to actually sell it to someone.

While you can academically define the perfect PMO for your organization and your culture, and while you might personally believe in the foundation of your soul that proceeding with the PMO as you've defined it is the best--in fact, the only--logical thing for your organization to do, you can't take one further step forward until you've sold it to someone. To be able to sell it, you have to know who your audience is, and how to explain what's in it for them.

Let's tackle the challenge of who your audience is first: they are the person or people within your organization that have the authority to bless the creation of a new organizational structure, the launching of a project to …

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