Can We Just Kill the EPMO Already?

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.

If you work in an enterprise PMO (or EPMO), you probably aren’t going to like this article. Sorry, not sorry. When I first heard of the concept of an EPMO, it struck me as a great idea, something that was desperately needed to help organizations think about project delivery from a singular, organization-wide perspective. It was everything that I had been saying project delivery and PMOs should be about. Finally, someone was hearing my cries in the wilderness and was listening. Things would get better really soon.

And then the reality crushed my hopes and dreams. EPMOs weren’t what I was hoping or advocating for. They were just another level of bureaucracy or just another attempt to reduce costs. They were just as frustrating as every other form of PMO, and their purpose was just as unclear. Well I’ve had enough! It’s time to stand up and demand something better. EPMOs aren’t cutting it and we need to replace them—with enterprise PMOs (EPMOs).

Okay, so that was a little overly melodramatic, but I wanted to get your attention because I think this is a serious issue that is seriously underappreciated. The idea of an enterprise PMO is a good one, and it’s just as relevant today as it has ever been.

However, the vast majority of organizations have implemented the wrong model for their EPMO. Instead of taking the idea of an EPMO as …

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"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite."

- Bertrand Russell