Project Practitioners > PMO

Posts Under "PMO"

Beginning Steps in Becoming a Complete Project Manager
By Randy Englund
While working in a field service office, I observed how a variety of firefighting activities seemed to repeat themselves: sales made commitments to customers and did not inform service, installations began before the site was ready or all equipment was on site, “rough-in” drawings were incorrect for the equipment ordered, etc. Being a process-oriented person, I made a vow to keep these “fires” from occurring again. I also knew that I had reached a plateau in my development at the job and was ready for a change. So I took the initiative to propose a revised process and structure to... Read More»

Deconstructing the PMO to Save the Brand
By Alan Zucker
What do the following have in common? Best Practices, Business Process Reengineering, Matrix Management, Six Sigma, and Management by Objective According to Inc.com1, these are five of the 10 worst management fads. Based on current trends, I fear that the PMO will join this list, as well. Several research firms have found that PMOs fail at alarming rates, with 50% of PMOs closing their doors within three-years2. One driver of this high failure rate is the expectation gap between PMOs and their customers. I believe that poor organizational branding has created confusion about the role and function of the PMO... Read More»

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»

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