Project Management

Does Your PMO Suffer From ‘TL; DR’ Syndrome?

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.

This may cause amusement for many of you reading this, but I recently had to Google what “TL; DR” meant. And of course, I immediately felt old (for those of you like me who grew up in the pre-texting dark ages, it’s texting shorthand for “too long; didn’t read”). When I learned what it meant, I immediately thought about how that could relate to PMOs (I’m kind of a PMO nerd).

When I first started working in PMOs, it seemed as though our entire purpose was to produce as brief an information summary as possible. It seems stupid now, but I remember discussions about how small a font we could reasonably use to try and get the summary of current projects onto one page. Or whether it was acceptable to increase the page size from letter to legal.

I don’t recall any conversations around why we were even trying to do that, it just seemed really important to try and consolidate the information from all the one-page project summaries into a one-page portfolio summary before distributing it to stakeholders. And of course, our success in doing so meant that it really didn’t matter whether the stakeholders read any of those one-pagers or not—the meaningful information they received was somewhere very close to zero.

I believe that there is still some of that happening today. There is the belief that stakeholders will …

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- Oscar Wilde