Quit Putting Your Project Managers in a Box

Cory Adcock, PMP is a seasoned IT professional who has leveraged his education and work experience to successfully manage and direct diverse project teams locally and internationally for four years. As project manager, Cory has lead cross-functional teams, including collaborating with multiple departments and facilities as well as coordinating with third-party consultants to achieve project objectives.

On more than one occasion, I have had the opportunity to aid in the development of processes and methodologies for a project management office. In each instance, leadership desired standardized processes and templates in an effort to drive consistency in how all projects are executed and, in some cases, how feasibility is determined. While the enterprise environmental factors were different for each office, the one thing they all had in common was an aspiration to adopt an industry standard for project management.

Since many PMOs are born out of the necessity to provide greater focus on projects on behalf of the business, it should come as no surprise when leadership wants to apply many of the same organizational constraints applied to other areas of the business. Although there is much to gain from this ideology—such as stronger ties to the strategic mission of the company, standardized human resources and procurement processes, et al.—it has the unfortunate downside of treating the PMO like any other department with an expectation of standard inputs and outputs, much like their operational department antithesis.

Getting the most out of your project managers
If a project manager can make or break a project, then a PMO can make or break a project manager. By that, I mean a PMO typically has a responsibility to grow, develop and train project managers or those…

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Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

- Robert Frost