Project Management

Central Reporting: Independent or Undermined?

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

Last month's column introduced the challenge of how to create Project Management Offices of value, and specifically some of the critical success factors that distinguish exceptional PMOs. This month continues this theme through a more detailed exploration of what it takes to create a value-adding PMO, how to get there and why it makes sense to do so.
In the next few months we will explore the components that comprise effective PMOs, creating a detailed roadmap of both how to get there while avoiding the inevitable roadblocks and dead ends we will find along the way.
Probably the most common initial role of a PMO when first implemented is as a central focal point for status reporting within the organization. Even at this early stage, however, the seeds for success and failure are sown. The implications behind how and why a central status reporting capability is created are significant--beginning with the perceived value of centralizing this function within the organization.
The reasons for creating a centralized reporting capability fundamentally determine how it should be established. Is it to create a single repository for all projects? To create consistency of reporting and verify that status reports are actually being produced? To ensure objectivity of reporting and that the reported status reflects reality? Each of these reasons requires a different approach, with …

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Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

- Will Rogers