Embracing the EPMO

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.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Ten plus years ago, I was having discussions with IT leaders who were worried that they were going to lose control of the work that was conducted in their organizations. PMOs were becoming more widely accepted and more and more CEOs wanted to implement them and suddenly get all of these benefits that they were reading about. Those IT VPs and CIOs were muttering to me about a lack of objectives for the PMO, duplication of responsibilities with other areas, an inevitably prescriptive approach that would completely ignore the reality of IT approaching or the new millennium, etc. I think some may even have mentioned plagues of locusts--it was going to be that bad.

Well, of course PMOs happen…and things really weren’t that bad. In fact, the more honest CIOs may even be prepared to admit that the PMO has helped to drive some value into the organization--and still no locusts. But now the cycle is repeating, and the next generation of IT leaders are being faced with suggestions that their organizations should implement an EPMO--an Enterprise PMO. This is a central, organization-wide PMO that brings all project execution functions under one umbrella. The CEOs are talking about standardization and economies of scale and CIOs are having nightmares about being told how to manage projects by people who don’t understand how unique and different the IT organization …

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Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

- Robert Frost

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