Project Management

The Core Message to PMOs: Innovate or Disintegrate

Doug is the author of the landmark book, Extreme Project Management®: Using Leadership, Principles and Tools to Deliver Value in the Face of Volatility. He works with clients who undertake projects in very demanding environments: those settings that feature high speed, high change, high unpredictability and high stress. Doug has lived in the trenches—from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Beijing, China—with over 275 project teams with budgets that ranged from $25,000 to over $25 million. He is one of the founders of the Agile Leadership Network, an organization dedicated to connecting, developing and supporting great project leaders. He is known for his hard-hitting and humorous keynote speeches that address vital issues facing today’s project-based organizations. You can visit Doug at

Nearly 1,500 IT program and portfolio managers, along with CIOs and other senior managers, flocked to the home of Disney World for the Gartner Program & Portfolio Management Summit to gain insight into how to reinvent program and portfolio management in order to succeed in the fast-paced, largely uncharted digital age.

In this article, I’ll give my take on some key themes that ran through the Summit. Presenters were Gartner analysts as well as PMO and portfolio management leaders in industry and government.

An Imperative for the PMO
According to Gartner research, to succeed in the digital age, project and portfolio management must move from the traditional confines of technical project management and focus on delivering new levels of enterprise agility and business value.

For the PMO, this will require a fundamental shift in strategies, processes and leadership. It’s nothing new to say that, for IT organizations, agility means the ability to respond to change. However, what came out loud and clear is that the PMO must also exercise agility not only in responding to change, but to also proactively initiate change.

Rethinking the PMO from Inside Out
From an IT perspective, most industries are shifting from optimizing efficiency of existing processes to moving into a fast-paced period of innovation and experimentation. The driver is digitalization: …

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