PMO Speed Freaks

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I write a lot about the importance of a PMO that is focused on delivering business results, and that generates a lot of conversations with representatives of PMOs in many diverse organizations on that topic. Some people are reaching out to ask for advice and guidance on how they can implement that model in their companies; some are looking to tell me what they have already done, seeking validation that they are on the right path to success.

It’s always difficult to confirm or correct their approach based simply on a brief email exchange or a quick phone conversation, but there are a few things I look for when seeking evidence of a true business results focus in a PMO. Chief among those factors is speed.

A business-focused PMO must be an enabler for business performance, and that means always being able to move as quickly as the business requires. More importantly, it must be able to generate the same level of speed in the project teams that are executing on the projects the business needs delivered. That’s not simply about delivering projects quicker (although a more aggressive schedule may be part of it); it’s about doing everything as fast as the business needs to achieve its results—planning, integrating change, resolving issues, etc. That’s not something that can be achieved on a project-by-project basis; it requires a culture built …

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"How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn't live there?"

- Steven Wright