Time for a PMO Revamp

Laura Dallas Burford is the founder of LAD Enterprizes, a management consulting firm that partners with consultants as well as internal and external consulting organizations to successfully build the operational and delivery aspects of their practices. Laura appreciates feedback on her articles and can be reached at laura@ladenterprizes.com. She is the author of Project Management for Flat Organizations.

Recently, I overheard a COO discussing the organization’s PMO dashboard with the director:

“I note the in-progress strategic projects are on the dashboard, but what about the other requested strategic projects? I need to understand our resource needs for all our projects. This dashboard does not provide any resource information and I can’t find the information on any of your reports. You guaranteed me a PMO would take care of my problems and answer my questions. Can’t we just purchase a PMO-in-the-box?”

Ouch! Communication problems, expectation disconnects and relationship issues. Add to it a perception by the COO that a PMO is commodity. As the conversation continued, it was apparent the PMO director’s focus was on the tactical aspects of a PMO because that was his experience with them. The alignment of projects with the organizational strategy was not a priority for the director, even though the executive management team clamored for information about all strategic initiatives.

Instead of starting over, revamp the PMO. Revamping a PMO and changing its focus takes a commitment by everyone to achieve success. Treat the revamping effort as a project because it is a project. Include in the plan necessary tasks to resolve the organization’s specific challenges and issues. In this scenario, consider tasks such as: educating …

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