Project Management

The Question That Can Help Your PMO Deliver More Value

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 spend a lot of time writing and speaking about the importance of PMOs as business functions rather than project functions. I advocate for them to be empowered to contribute to strategic planning and delivery, to support portfolio management, and to focus on improving the ability to generate returns on discretionary investments through an optimized delivery environment.

But I am also aware that many PMOs are restricted by an organizational mandate that just doesn’t view PMOs in that way.

While that may be starting to change, there are still a lot of PMO functions that are expected to operate more within the project delivery arena—focusing on improving processes and compliance, consolidating reporting, and guiding PMs to better practices and through difficult problems.

There’s no point in me arguing that this work can be better served by software (which in most cases it can), or that it doesn’t drive value (which in many cases it doesn’t) if that is all that the organization allows the PMO to do.

So how do these types of PMOs drive the most value for their organizations? They’re not going to convince bosses to expand or adapt their mandate anytime soon, but they still have to demonstrate that they are contributing to the success of the business or they will be the first function looked as for potential cuts when times get tough. (…

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