Conducting a PMO Health Check (Part 3)

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.

To help you in performing a PMO health check, the approach in Part 1 of this series has been laid out in a worksheet (partially seen below). It can be used “as is” or tailored to your liking.

To further assist in the health check process, this series continues with an examination of the rationale as to why each statement within each dimension is deemed to represent a healthy practice. In Part 2, we looked at the statements in Section 1 of the PMO Health Check Worksheet: Project Portfolio Management. We now continue with the Project Planning segment. 

PMO Health Check: Project Planning

1. Projects plans are adaptive and calibrated based on project complexity, duration and depth and breadth of resources required.

One of the mistakes PMOs make, in the name of standardization and consistency, is to create one-size-fits-all standards as to how projects are planned, planned, reported on, etc. The savvy PMO subscribes to an adaptive approach that provides standards and processes based on a project’s complexity, duration and mission criticality. This helps prevent bureaucracy creep and keeps professional judgment and flexibility in the mix of thinking.

Blind compliance to rigid standards breeds poor performance. The question the PMO should always be seeking to answer is this: How small of a process, investment, resource allocation and documentation…


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