PMO Perspectives

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Over the years, much has been much written about the Program/Project/Portfolio Management Office (PMO). Ways to succeed, fail, rescue, establish streamline and improve are just a few topics that have been addressed in ink and online. As we enter 2011, I thought it would be good to present a cross section of views and perspectives about PMOs; a refresher if you will. It seems prudent to see what others are thinking regarding the state of PMOs. In this article I will focus on starting a PMO, avoiding PMO failure and trends/the future of the PMO.

Starting a PMO
Before establishing a PMO, it’s crucial to clearly define what its purpose, scope and reach will be. Will it be enterprise wide, limited to special initiatives, focus only on IT related projects or something else? Creating a good definition of a PMO is also a good idea. Wikipedia provides a good place to start:

 “The Project Management Office (PMO) in a business or professional enterprise is the department or group that defines and maintains the standards of process, generally related to project management, within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution. “

How this is accomplished is where things …

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"History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot."

- Mark Twain