Project Management

Not All Projects Are Created Equal

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.

One of the more common complaints I hear from PMO leaders is that they are being asked to support too many projects. I find that an odd statement, because almost exclusively those PMOs are created to support a business area—and by extension the projects undertaken by that business area form its accountability.

If you are saying there are too many, then you are effectively saying that the department is doing too many projects. While that may be true—many organizations are guilty of approving more projects than they can deliver—if all of the work ends up getting done, then it’s tough to argue that there are “too many.”

A more appropriate way of expressing the concern is that the PMO doesn’t have the capacity to support all of the projects that are being undertaken—that it needs to have more staff, more tools and perhaps a different focus. That’s something I find more accurate, but I think the solution to the problem already exists within the PMO—by changing how projects are supported.

In my experience, there isn’t enough differentiation between how a PMO treats different types of projects, and that can leave some projects being managed too closely while others lack much needed support.

In other words, rather than throwing more people or money at the PMO to increase support, the PMO itself has to be …


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