Project Management

On Program Management: The End of the PMO

Atlanta Chapter

Eric Norman is a skilled management consultant and leader with extensive business process design experience supporting a broad array of industries. Over the past 25 years, he has specialized in program management - mentoring, consulting and leading project, program and business process improvement efforts.

You don’t have to say it. I can imagine what you’re thinking: “Just what we need, another article about PMOs…and this one is about putting an end to them? Really now, do we even know whether he’s talking about a project management office, a program management office, a portfolio management office, a performance management office, a process management office, or what? Come on, give us a break!”

You may be inclined to click elsewhere and move on, but I encourage you to read at least part of what follows. Let’s face it: In the project/program/portfolio management world, delivering real value seems to be the most elusive aspect of any PMO. And because of this, the PMO seems to be one of the first places organizational leaders look to “right-size” or “optimize,” reducing the impact and potential value PMOs might generate for their organizations.

Perhaps that’s why there are so many articles—many of them addressing this very issue—appearing in our literature these days, and so many qualified practitioners reluctant to take roles in PMOs.

I believe there’s a good reason we spend so much time defending the value and existence of PMOs, and in the following paragraphs I’ll offer a few thoughts about how we can make a significant change to the prevailing trajectory for this important …

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