Project Management

The Politics of Integration (Part 1): Planning

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.

The PMO, or at least strategic PMOs, are becoming more and more closely associated with portfolio management. There may be many other functions the PMO is involved in, but most of those are relatively stable; it is portfolio management that is growing and changing.

This evolution is occurring both in terms of organizations as a whole, and from the perspective of the role the PMO plays in portfolio management. Almost without exception, portfolio management is becoming an increasingly critical element of how organizations approach strategy delivery, and the PMO is at the hub of that activity.

This increasing portfolio management maturity creates a unique challenge for many PMOs. In a few short years they have gone from a “downstream” player for much of portfolio delivery (only becoming involved once annual planning and project selection is complete), to the driver of virtually all portfolio work from idea generation to benefits realization.

That creates many practical challenges, but the most significant of those challenges for PMO leaders is that of managing relationships across the organization. That’s where I want to focus in this article, in particular on how the PMO can create an integrated portfolio management environment without becoming embroiled in the politics of planning and project selection. This will be the first article in a series …

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If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers