Project Management

The PMO Value Problem

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 [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Many years ago, I had a performance review and my manager said to me, “I think that you think that I don’t appreciate you. I do, but I’m not sure why.” Not something that you expect (or want) to hear on a performance review, but a sentiment that may well apply to many PMOs within organizations. Ask an executive about the value that they are getting from their PMO and they may well have difficulty quantifying what that benefit is. However, most of those same executives will tell you that they believe that the PMO is delivering benefits to the organization.

The problems can start with the inability to quantify that benefit, especially as an organization moves further away from the “bad old days” before the PMO existed and when the level of consistency and formality of project execution was often lacking. Something as simple as a change in a senior executive role can leave the PMO vulnerable to being disbanded (or at least significantly cut back), so it’s important to be able to understand and explain the benefit--but how? While every organization is different, I want to use this article to offer some thoughts on ways that PMO leaders can demonstrate real value to their organizations.

Understand your role
I am always amazed by how many PMO heads are unable to clearly explain the function that their PMOs have within the …

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