Project Management

Have PMOs Turned the Corner?

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.

I am a big believer in PMOs. Managed properly, they can facilitate significant improvements to the execution of projects and can be valuable strategic contributors to organizations. However, there is no doubt that in recent years, many PMOs have suffered from a perception problem among organizational leaders and a lack of respect from project managers. There are many reasons for that--some of them the fault of PMOs, some far beyond their control.

But I think things may be starting to turn around. In recent weeks, I had an opportunity to attend a conference focused on PMOs that had wonderful attendance, engagement and energy. I have begun the 2015 series of ProjectManagement.com PMO workshops, and I have spoken with a number of different clients who have noted that they are becoming increasingly pleased with the return on their PMO investment.

I don’t think that we can yet proclaim PMOs as saviors of organizations, but I do think that they have turned the corner and are now on the journey to success.

Understanding of purpose
The foundation for this turnaround has to be the increased recognition about what a PMO needs to offer to the organization. In the past, this has been one of the biggest frustrations I have had--PMOs are created without ever being given a clear mandate, and then executives complain that they aren’t seeing the value that they were …


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