Project Management

Gold Medal-Winning 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.

Before sitting down to write this article, I was watching some of the recent Winter Olympics. It amazes me that these athletes put in a lifetime of effort and dedication to perfect every last element of their sport and, in some cases, they have just a few seconds to put it all together to try and win a medal. One tiny mistake, and at best they have to wait four years for a chance to put it right—and some of them will inevitably never get another opportunity.

Of course, all these athletes are immensely talented, but that talent is supplemented by a willingness to sacrifice virtually everything else for their sport. That kind of commitment isn’t always healthy, and it’s good to see that there is increasing recognition of the need for support structures.

But compare that level of dedication with your average PMO. There aren’t too many Olympic quality PMOs out there, not too many gold medal candidates. Why is that? Why don’t we talk more about the commitment PMO leaders make to excellence, or celebrate the remarkable achievements of a particular PMO?

Where’s the bar?
I know that there have been a few PMO award schemes launched in the last few years, but they’re subjective rather than objective—there’s no clearly defined performance bar that has to be reached to qualify, and no objective measurement of performance. …


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