Project Management

The PMO Health Check

Rob Saxon is a Project Management Professional, Certified Information Systems Auditor and a trained Six Sigma Specialist. Rob is currently developing methods to integrate project management into previously unexplored areas of business.

I have always been impressed with the few simple tests that doctors do every visit to get a general sense of my health. Usually they take my temperature and my blood pressure reading. Although those measurements do not conclusively indicate whether I am healthy or sick, they provide a good general gauge of my physical well-being. If my blood pressure is 120/80 and my temperature is 98.6 degrees, a medical professional knows that this is a good sign. If my blood pressure or temperature vary too much from those numbers, there may be cause for concern.

A program management office’s “health” may be similar in that with a few measurements, we can get a sense of the state of the PMO. In this article, we will look at a PMO’s health in relation to time reporting, budgeting and project reporting. Of course these are only three of dozens of activities associated with program management offices. By periodically measuring the relative efficacy of these three areas, however, we might begin to get a sense of a PMO’s overall health.

By measuring these aspects of PMO operation, we can begin to understand whether the PMO is running healthy, or if the PMO may be “sick”. The term “sick” in this case can mean that the PMO may be performing operations that are misaligned to the company, or that the PMO needs to adopt new methods or …


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"Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking."

- Steve Allen

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