New Sheriff in Town

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-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's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

A former colleague of mine phoned me a while back to tell me that he had just been appointed as the head of a PMO for the first time. He had worked hard to advance his career and was now joining a new company to replace a retiring PMO head. He was excited about the opportunity, but was also concerned about how to go about establishing himself in the role. He wanted to demonstrate that he knew what he was doing and make some improvements to the way that the PMO was run and projects were executed, but at the same time he was concerned about adversely affecting project execution effectiveness as he made those changes.

In this article, I’d like to explore some of these areas and look at the things to consider when the PMO head changes.

Analysis before action
When someone comes into a new role--especially one as visible as a department head--it can be tempting to want to make an early impact, to demonstrate that they are the right person for the job and that they intend to make things happen. There may be occasions where that’s the right strategy--I have been asked to step into project rescue situations on a number of occasions, and there you do have to move fast because things are going terribly wrong and need to get turned around fast.

However, in most situations quick action is not going to be the best approach. In the scenario that I described above,…

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Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.