Project Management

A Disturbing Trend With PMOs

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

2020 obviously saw some significant changes in how work gets done, and it created a lot of stress and strain on virtually every employee—in every organization, and in every industry. As a result, I’m a little wary of reading too much into emerging trends that appeared last year; it was just so disrupted that I’m not sure we can read too much into it.

However, there was one area of PMOs that I started hearing more about that concerned me. It’s not something that’s directly related to the impacts of COVID-19, so I want to explore it here because I don’t believe it’s a blip—I think there is a potential problem emerging that needs to be addressed.

In recent years, more and more PMOs have begun to shift focus away from just ensuring that projects are being delivered effectively and efficiently—and toward ensuring those initiatives are achieving business outcomes. This has resulted in a greater amount of time and attention being spent looking “up and out” at the business stakeholders, operating environment, etc. This in turn has meant less time looking “down and in” toward the mechanics of project delivery and the way that PMs operate with their teams.

At the same time, PMOs have had to embrace a broadening of what it means to deliver projects with more and more PMOs, especially at strategic levels…

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