Growing a PMO in an Operationally Focused Organization

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.

I am currently working with an organization that is very focused on operations. The nature of their business is that a large percentage of resources are focused on operational areas, and while those operations change over time the work is generally evolutionary rather than revolutionary--and there are few major initiatives executed outside of technology groups.

Within IT there is a PMO concept, but it has a very definite inward focus--supporting IT work rather than supporting the organization at large. Additionally, it is a support infrastructure of tools and templates rather than a resourced function with staff and accountabilities.

As you might expect, this has led to a lack of consistent project execution approaches as well as very varied levels of formal project management within the IT group. However, things are now starting to change. A major new multi-year technology initiative is going to reach far beyond the scope of IT and will have significant impacts on other areas of the business. Additionally, the technology will drive a need for new and improved business processes as well as facilitating opportunities for new business initiatives--which of course will need to be executed as their own projects.

This has resulted in the organization being in the position of not only needing an IT PMO that has more formal structure and communicates well with the …

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