Project Management

Combating PMO Dysfunction

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

The project management office should serve the purpose of providing guidance and oversight to the projects being planned and executed by an organization. PMOs are made up of many different people with vastly different roles to play; as a unit, the PMO can become dysfunctional and fragmented, which leads to conflicting messages--eventually it becomes just another meaningless layer of management. Nobody wants this, least of all the PMO; a team or unit that is dysfunctional just might become expendable on the next round of budget cuts.

The best method to combat dysfunction is to make sure the PMO is working together as a team. In an environment that combines leadership, risk management, quality initiatives, scheduling and a myriad of other large and small tasks, this can become difficult. The leader of the PMO must take definitive steps to help the members of the PMO work together as a team instead of splintering into smaller cells--or even becoming lone wolves who focus on one single objective to the exclusion of whatever else is going on. Listed below are some ideas for keeping the PMO working together like a well-oiled machine instead of breaking down and slowing down the work of the entire organization.

A Little Understanding Goes a Long Way
Whether there is someone new in the organization or there are a lot of seasoned veterans, it will not harm anyone to go over…


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"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."

- Richard Strauss