The PMO Business Plan

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.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

At the most basic level, projects are about changing things—replacing something old and outdated with something new, or improving something that could be more effective or efficient. It doesn’t matter if it’s an internal system or process, or a customer product or service; as a result of completing the project, the idea is that things will somehow be better.

But that concept doesn’t carry across too well to PMOs. Most PMOs don’t focus on making things better, but rather maintaining the status quo. Sure, they work to address problems on individual initiatives—providing governance, helping resolve issues, etc. But those are self-contained within those individual projects. At a macro level, there are a lot of PMOs that perform the same basic function year after year without seeing any fundamental growth in the project delivery capability of the organization.

That’s not something that would be accepted in any other area of the business. Sales is an obvious example. The expectation in a sales department is not that individuals will continue to sell the same level of products or services as previously, rather the department is expected to grow the total number of sales using a number of different metrics (units, revenue, market penetration, margin, etc.). As an incentive to deliver that upward trend, the sales department is given an …


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"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

- Oscar Wilde

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