PMO Need Help? Consider an Output-Driven Model

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Whether your organization wants to start a PMO or just wants to make the current PMO more lean and effective, knowing where to start, what questions to ask and what direction to go can be challenging. If your organization’s leadership is like most, they don’t want the PMO (or any business unit) to be complicated, sluggish or bureaucratic. Instead, they want a PMO that can successfully pursue, process and deliver on the project-centric strategic initiatives of the organization.

While there are countless approaches and frameworks out there regarding what PMOs do, how to organize them and mature them, most get very complicated very quickly. In an attempt to keep things simple, I reflected back to my days of trying to master Structured System Design circa 1979, when I was introduced to a model that can be used for designing anything, not just IT applications.

So, I thought why not apply the model to organization development (in this case, the PMO)? The model is based on the notion that if the outputs of a system (the requirements) are known, then deconstructing each output into its inputs and process rules components will yield the correct data structure, business rules and process logic needed to build a system that is functionally complete and correct when combined. Yeah, I know, this sounds strange and unorthodox but…

This output-input-process (OIP) …

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