Right Work, Right Place: PMO 2.0

Aaron is the former editor of ProjectsAtWork.com

Understaffed and overwhelmed with "kitchen-sink" expectations, from daily ad hoc reports to high-level analysis, PMOs are failing to live up to their hyped potential. The answer for more organizations is blowing in the offshore wind, where globally distributed teams leverage the 24-hour-clock while working on production and administrative functions, freeing up onsite resources to focus on strategic needs.

Much like those dubious before-and-after ads promising a miracle transformation of your lawn (or hair or waistline), when it comes to the program management office (PMO) too many organizations are finding the pre-implementation promise — portfolio optimization, data precision, streamlined processes, best-practice maturity — is a far cry from the reality that unfolds. The fact is, many PMOs significantly underachieve their potential to deliver value to the organization, and, even worse, become part of the problem. Putting aside outright failures, of which there are many examples, how many stakeholders feel their existing PMO spends most of its time producing reports that don’t address the company’s most pressing risks, needs and opportunities? And how many project managers and teams perceive their PMO as a bureaucratic hindrance that does little to improve their projects’ success rates?
Of course, from the perspective of many beleaguered PMOs, the problems are systemic, and …

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