More on PMOs

Lately I’ve come across more and more articles about project management offices (PMOs) and how/why you should create one. This is something I think can provide real benefits to an organization if done properly, but isn’t as popular within law firms. Two of my favorite project management website resources, TechRepublic and gantthead, have recently posted some great articles that you might find useful if you’re interested in the topic of PMOs, or considering how to start a PMO at your organization. (And yes, law firms CAN successfully launch and work within a PMO.) 

What I like most about these articles is the lack of sugar-coating. I’ll do some paraphrasing here: Starting a PMO is hard, it will add layers of complexity, you might have difficulty getting buy-in, if done wrong it can really hinder your projects, and you’ll be forced to classify and prioritize EVERYTHING. However, the articles also mention the benefits of consistency and approval processes, and both offer some steps to get there, or at least to help you figure out if your organization is ready to start down that PMO road.  Check them out, I’m convinced they will give you insight!

See also my previous post on “What’s a PMO and why does it matter to my intranet?

~ Amy Witt

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  1. I’d love to see a PMO that works, but I haven’t yet. In my experience, they add a layer of bureaucracy and often become a battle ground for office politics.

  2. Amy Adler

    Amy,
    You certainly don’t have to convince me. I don’t know how organizations work effectively without the project management function. I imagine that achieving buy-in is one of the hardest components because it involves both trust and giving up some control. But if it is possible to demonstrate that giving up some control to someone who has expertise in moving projects forward can streamline so many things, that is a huge step. These folks have to come to see that a project manager’s expertise lies in figuring out what an organization needs to speed projects along effectively (even, dare I say it, when the PM doesn’t have subject matter expertise).
    Amy Adler





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