Project Management

Should Your PMO Go Rogue?

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.

I recently had a very interesting conversation with someone who described themselves as a “subversive PMO head.” He had been in the role for a few years and was trying to work with management to expand the role that the PMO was playing.

However, he didn’t get much traction and the PMO was still viewed as a reporting and governance function. That was something that the PMO could easily handle with very little effort, so with the spare capacity he had decided to do some additional work.

There was no official mandate for that extra contribution (hence the subversive label), but this PMO leader recognized that he could deliver additional value in a way that wouldn’t disrupt anything else, ultimately benefitting the organization. That’s exactly what happened—he and his team worked to strengthen a number of key aspects of project delivery.

They worked with the strategy office to improve understanding of upcoming work—and then with resource owners, HR, and training teams to ensure that the pool of resources was better aligned with that upcoming need. They also worked with PMs and sponsors to improve communication around business context and drive project approaches that had a better chance of delivering the required business outcomes, not just the defined constraints. And they encouraged project managers to become more creative with …

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"There is one way to find out if a man is honest: Ask him! If he says yes, you know he's crooked."

- Groucho Marx