The Next Generation PMO Leader

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's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I’ve been speaking and writing for some time now on the topic of how project execution is changing, at least for strategic initiatives, and how that change is driving the evolution of project management. This change is being driven by the growth of portfolio management and the increased alignment between strategy and execution that organizations are driving in order to improve the chances of a portfolio delivering success. These changes aren’t isolated to just project execution layers, they are also occurring in the PMO.

While there are still many different PMO models in place, there is undoubtedly significant growth in PMOs that are taking accountability for portfolio management, and even more that are being tasked with delivering solutions to enterprise-wide, project-related business challenges. This is a very positive development that has not only made PMOs relevant again; it is putting many of them at the center of portfolio execution.

However, there is one area that concerns me about these PMOs, and that is in their leadership. I see many organizations where the evolution of leadership has not occurred at the same rate as the evolution of the PMO, and that’s what I want to explore here.

Recognizing evolving needs
Before I get into trouble for a perceived suggestion that I think PMO leaders can’t do the job, let me explain what I mean. When…

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