When Will We Start Talking to the Right PMO People?

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.

I’m frustrated. We’re a couple of months away from being 20 years into this brave new millennium when everything was supposed to get better. We’re more than 10 years into the period when the world started to recognize that PMOs had to be business functions to succeed (driven in large part by my friend, colleague and fellow ProjectManagement.com contributor Mark Price Perry).

And yet, still the vast majority of articles you can find that talk about avoiding PMO failure—or helping PMOs succeed—are not addressing the right audience. They’re talking to the PMO heads themselves, and those people don’t operate in a model where they can improve things (at least not on their own).

Let me explain what I mean (with a few references to the type of article I’m referring to), and we can explore how things need to change. All of the pieces I’m going to quote from were published after June 2019, and for obvious reasons I’m going to leave them anonymous.

1. “When setting up the project portfolio, PMO directors should…”
Wait, what? Do you operate in an organization where the head of the PMO gets to define the project portfolio? I highly doubt it. The portfolio is defined by the leadership or executive team as a vehicle to achieve the goals and objectives. Projects are then approved based on their ability to…


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If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat.

- Mark Twain

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