PMOs: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

The movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is remembered as a classic set during the American Civil War, where all sorts of mischief and criminal behavior lead to creative ideas and the downfall of more than a few characters. Extrapolating that theme, I’ll be providing a perspective on three project management offices I have either been directly involved with or have observed as an outsider…

The Good
I would change this portion of the title to “The Best.” In recent years, I have had the pleasure of working with the PMO that operates within the municipal government of one of Canada’s largest cities. The leader of the operation takes an approach that could very much be referred to as collaborative and supportive.

Her goal, as a proud PMP, was to demonstrate the value of project management throughout the plethora of departments that operates the day-to-day and longer-term goals of a large city. She recognized the need for leveraging the PMI framework to improve operational efficiency while encouraging creativity and customization within various operating departments.

It was clear the structure that would serve the IT department would be very different than the event planning or parks/recreation department. The approach that has been taken meets the needs of city council, yet does not get bogged down in excessive governance or costly …

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"In opera, there is always too much singing."

- Claude Debussy