Project Management

PMOs Must Get Back to Fundamentals

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.

There’s something about PMOs that seems to make people act differently. PMO leaders aren’t stupid. Organizational leaders who approve PMOs aren’t stupid. Yet some of the decisions and actions around the setting up and running of PMOs aren’t particularly smart.

It’s time we go back to some basics.

We need a PMO!
I read about and hear from a lot of PMO leaders who have been put in a position to establish a PMO without any guidance. The bosses have simply said something along the lines of, “We need a PMO, go and set one up and figure out how to make it work.”

Let’s translate that approach to our personal lives and see how well it works. Suppose that I tell my wife that I need to go and buy a new thing. I’m really into music, so let’s make it a new piece of audio equipment.

I’ve read some articles online about how some people use this wonderful box as part of their audio setup and it makes everything much better. So, I need to go and buy one right away. I’m not really sure how it works, or why it will improve things, but if I have one in my hands then I can figure out how to use it in my setup and improve the sound.

There’s a remote (very remote) possibility that my wife will just say “okay,” but she’s far more likely to suggest that maybe I should try and understand what…

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"He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

- Groucho Marx