Is There a ‘Right’ PMO of Tomorrow?

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

A little more than a year ago, my article PMOs: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly drew more than usual attention. I appreciated the passionate response from readers, especially those that had lived through some of “the bad.” I spoke with the leader of a PMO that operates within the municipal government of one of Canada’s largest cities. In my opinion, she was doing a fantastic job of growing the body of project management knowledge and continuously showing the value that her small team provided.

The positive response that came from her senior management when they became aware of that article seemed to put some wind under her wings, and her team has continued to grow the support it provides. There is no question that her model of “the good” PMO was successful.

Other contributors to have provided great examples of their PMO perspectives. As many have pointed out, there is no one-size-fits-all PMO. They are as different as the organizations they contribute to and the people that work within them. So, what does the future of the PMO look like? I foresee three scenarios:

1. Provide value…or you may face extinction. Every organization I consult with faces the same pressure. It doesn’t matter if it is a publicly funded government enterprise, a very profitable niche enterprise or a company whose shares are traded on…

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"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

- Francis Bacon