The PMO Brand Needs a Refresh

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.

One of the most interesting projects I have ever managed was the updating of the brand of a national bank. It wasn’t as the result of an acquisition or other corporate change, but rather a recognition it needed to be refreshed. In fact, it was referred to as the “Brand Revitalization Project.”

With roots dating back to 1867, the current bank identify was established in 1961. Over time, various senior management teams established their vision and brand identify. Unfortunately, the integrity of the brand was not maintained over the decades. While the name remained the same, new logos were established. The mistake was that previous logo-identities weren’t purged from the system. Unlike very strong commercial brands (where it’s almost not even necessary to look at the product to know what company created it), the bank’s brand was diluted by having too many variations.

What is the PMO brand?
I could argue the same fate has fallen on the term “project management office.” There are as many different definitions of the purpose of a PMO as there are colors in a rainbow. Some of the common types described by PMI include:

  • Supportive: provide a consultative role by supplying templates, best practices and training, etc.
  • Controlling: provide support and require compliance
  • Directive: take control by directly managing all …

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