Project Management

A Barrier to PMO Progress

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.

A little while back, I met with someone who was the first manager of a new PMO. He had been in place for about 18 months and had been able to achieve some success. However, he wasn’t satisfied that the progress that was being made was sufficient, and he was finding that the organization was resisting some of the changes that he was trying to implement.

This wasn’t a case of trying to dramatically change things too quickly--he was actually being pretty conservative in his approach and focusing on creating a simple framework for projects that was standard across the entire organization. However, the organization was run by a group of vice presidents who had very long average tenure, had been allowed to run their divisions as close to independent entities and who generally only had a few more years to go until retirement.

The PMO manager felt that many of his ideas were simply being ignored and that the organization was suffering as a result--the company made money, but their growth was leveling off and he was convinced that future growth depended on more effective processes and approaches. The manager was considering leaving the role simply because he felt that he wasn’t being listened to, and he would rather go somewhere where his ideas would be implemented and he could demonstrate the benefits that he was able to deliver. In this article, I want to …

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"To generalize is to be an idiot."

- William Blake