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Project Practitioners > PMO

Posts Under "PMO"

The "Secret" Code: a Toolkit of Skills
By Randy Englund
Proman was at a crossroads. The large program had just concluded. What was next? He noticed how engaged he’d felt during the process. Each day he threw himself into the proceedings with renewed vigor. He seemed to know instinctively what to do. People looked to him for direction, even people smarter than he was and higher up in the organization. Sure, there were many moments when he felt like he wanted to strangle someone who would not cooperate. But even these moments challenged him to reach inside himself for an appropriate response that would elicit a positive reaction. He had... Read More»

Project Management, Methodologies, and Organizational Maturity
By Margaret de Haan
In my last few positions, I have spent time setting up the Project Management discipline in the organization, and ultimately creating a "PMO" in each . Now, whether you would agree with me or not, I believe that PMO's are created and customized to meet the organization needs at the time that the department and processes are set up, in other words, there are no "cookie cutter" implementations. Looking at each Project Management Office, or function (or even the Methodology that was implemented) was directly linked to what that organization's culture could handle, and what could be implemented successfully. In... Read More»

Managing the Manager
By Ann Drinkwater
Your organization has decided to outsource a project to an external firm. In some cases, the organization may allow your team to manage the project, but more often than not, the organization may want full reign and to manage the engagement themselves. What does this mean to the project manager from the client organization? Depending on your company’s project management philosophy (i.e. do they see project management as a scheduling function, or someone that truly manages the project and risk), this type of agreement may be more challenging than you first think. Read More»

Creating the Project Office - a Personal Story
By Randy Englund
Every so often a student posts a course review that thrills and delights me, even more than usual, mainly because it validates and vividly describes, in a most personal manner, my deepest intent. This review covers, in a way that should be of interest to many, a journey of creating and developing a project office, a journey that enlightens and informs others about pitfalls and best practices. The review also depicts the benefits of online educational forums—how the lessons learned describe and may be applied on the job. Here is L's story: "I was interested in taking this class [UCI... Read More»

The Opportunity & Challenge of Being First
By Ann Drinkwater
The start-up of a formal project management function requires initiative and perseverance. If you or an organization you work for is looking to hire a project management professional, there are several areas that must be considered from both the employee and organizational perspective. The project manager in this type of environment must understand surrounding processes will likely be fairly immature and there will be many areas of groundwork and the establishment of a framework that must be completed before you can begin doing day-to-day or tactical project management. Read More»

The Criticality of Common, Concrete Language
By Margaret de Haan
I have recently joined a company that is in its Project Management infancy, and I have come on board to assist in creating a PMO with all of the bells and whistles that will work for the organization. The company works in providing online software programs, and has been experiencing explosive growth over the last few years, which has opened up the need for structured Project Management within the organization. Putting in this structure offers a huge opportunity for improvement, but realistically is an uphill battle climbing a very steep mountain. I am always glad to see when an organization... Read More»

"Manage That Pipeline!"
By Margaret de Haan
OK, so for those of you that manage the Project pipeline, I'm sure that many if not most of you have experienced those Charters that don't get approved, or die. The documentation gets completed, it goes to the powers that be, but somehow even though it doesn't get an OK2GO, it doesn't die either. It seems to perpetually stay on hold, but it keeps on getting brought up during the Steering Committee meetings, and six months or a year after its initial pitch, it is decided that the documentation should be reviewed, updated and reviewed again by the team for... Read More»

Lessons from Literature
By Randy Englund
As I was putting together materials about creating the project office, I was reminded of some powerful lessons that are universally applicable to most all work. An effective technique during implementation of any change initiative is to use metaphors or literary references that help people understand concepts. Metaphors also help in reframing attitudes. At the same time they help to tame the chaos that may be surrounding the project. A first step is to name it-to name the chaos or name the problem or name the person. This lesson comes across from the fox in Antoine de Saint Exupery's infamous... Read More»

Portfolio Management: Is Modern Management Practice Compatible?
By Brian Irwin
I sat anxiously in the PMO Director's office waiting to present my proposal for an organizational portfolio management process implementation. I had spent the previous several months drafting the process and holding reviews with several key company stakeholders. My homework was done and I knew I would hit this one out of the park. The presentation spanned the next thirty minutes. What seemed like an eternity of silence had passed, but in reality was probably only 10 seconds, the PMO Director finally spoke his verdict. "Am I the only one that has major heartburn with this process," he stated. My... Read More»

Why Not Link Projects to Strategy?
By Randy Englund
Barriers to Implementation It is relatively easy to develop models for selecting portfolios of projects that are thorough and integrate objective and subjective data. When all is said and done, however, people may throw out the results and make a different decision. Sometimes the reason is a hunch, an instinct, or simply a desire to try something different. Sometimes people have a pet project and use the process to justify its existence, or a hidden agenda may be at play—perhaps the need to maneuver among colleagues, trading projects for favors. Politics at this stage cannot be ignored, nor are they... Read More»




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