The Balanced PMO

From the The Lazy Project Manager Blog
by
Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’. His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance. More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

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The Balanced PMO



As with most things in life (and business) getting a balance right can prove far more effective, especially in the long run, than having a single focus that ignores other key elements.

The same is true of the PMO.

A balanced approach will definitely pay dividends and will not only ensure that the PMO is as effective and efficient as possible but will also aid the acceptance of the PMO by the rest of the organisation.

For example, if your PMO is created solely with the purpose of being the ‘project police’ then you will be in for a very short run. No doubt the role of policing projects is one part of the PMOs responsibility but not the only part, such an approach may work for a short period of time but it is not sustainable. And if your PMO is focused on firefighting then again it will work for a while but not beyond a certan point as it is demoralising to only work on problem projects and deal with escalating issues. Far better is to prevent the fires from even starting.

One way to achieve such a balance in the PMO is to consider structuring your efforts under what I call the ‘5 Ps’:

  • P = People
  • P = Process
  • P = Promotion
  • P = Performance
  • P = Project Management Information System

 

It may be tempting to just think of the PMO as all about the process, the means to ensure that good project management is achieved through methodology and quality assurance etc but that ignores the people side.

And it may be that your consideration is towards the project management community and your focus is drawn towards the people (projects are all about people after all) and so you direct your efforts as a PMO leader towards training and team building etc but this ignores the project mechanics.

You may also accept the need to build a good tracking and reporting system, supported by an investment in a project management information system, to deliver the visibility of project health and progress towards business goals.

But without the inclusion of a promotional program it could well be the case that all of the good work you, and your team, achieve in the areas of process and people will go unnoticed and unappreciated by both your peers and the executive.

As for what tools to use, well that can be tricky to work out (and time consuming) but you do need the right tools for the job.

The best PMOs balance all of this to achieve the most effective development of capability, representation of capability and sharing of capability and achievement.  

Author:

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led five global PMOs across several industries and has advised many other organisations on Change and Project strategy.

He is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last few years, he has delivered over 350 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

 

 

 

Posted on: July 25, 2019 03:56 AM | Permalink

Comments (9)

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Well said Peter. Balance approach is mantra for long term sustainable success. Thanks a lot!!

Great article Peter.

Very well said and a great high level background of what needs to be the PMO focus. All about balance. Thanks!

Balance is key for sure - in everything!

Great article Peter. A balanced PMO it what drives strategic innovation for the company and will drive the value of the PMO to the Executive team.

Important topics to consider when we are implementing a PMO; this is not only Project Management Processes and Methodologies, we must focus in people, communication and technologies also.

Well said. I find that promotion is often overlooked, but is a vital component of a successful PMO.

Excellent Article.
Thanks

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