The Relevant PMO

John is a versatile, results-driven technologist and manager and is recognized for leveraging his broad business experience, technical knowledge and analytical skills to drive change and help organizations achieve their strategic objectives. John loves sharing ideas through his articles and is eager to hear feedback from the community. John is also the President of PMTrainingOnline.com.

PMOs—meaning or program or project management office—are quite popular and progressive. But are they all they are cracked up to be? They do so many good things—like bring best practices in project management to the organization, provide a stable of seasoned project managers, offer templates that can guide users to think in the right direction, expertly review plans and actions with expert input, provide tried and true processes consistently across the organization…the list goes on.

But it’s not always bright lights and roses, as it’s not unusual to see a failing or failed PMO—that gets in the way of the best efforts on projects, creates an unwelcome bureaucracy and additional work, or just seems like a rudderless boatload of solutions searching for problems.

Harsh Words for PMOs?
Do you think I’m being a bit harsh or cynical about PMOs? Consider these statistics gleaned from googling “failures of PMOs”:

  • Organizations that align their EPMO to strategy report 27 percent more projects completed successfully and 42 percent fewer projects with scope creep. Yet, less than half of organizations surveyed have an EPMO, and only 44 percent of those EPMOs are highly aligned to the organization’s strategy. (The Project Management Institute’s 2016 Pulse of the Profession: The High Cost of Low Performance)

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"The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers."

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