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Project Portfolio Management

7 Deadly Sins of the PMO

Published By Kristyn Medeiros
7 Deadly Sins of the PMO

Forgive me, for I have sinned.

It started from decisions that no one could explain, direction no one understood. Innocent project managers were drowning from decisions made around them. Some disappeared and were never seen again. They had influence and experience, along with a false sense of security.  Nothing was what it seemed.  A Project Management Office that destined to fail had to face its worst fears and admit its sins… all to survive.

What you are about to read is based on real stories from real people. These are the seven deadly sins you were warned about as a child, now come to life. Reader discretion is advised.

  1. You have envy of other departments who have clear vision and strategy.

An absence of PMO vision and strategy can be extremely frustrating. You see other groups that not only have direction, but are able to articulate how the work they are doing day to day is aligning directly back to the larger goals and objectives of the organization. You crave a better understanding of what the purpose is, why you are asked to do the things you do, and how the team plans to grow and mature. The other groups that have this all seem happy with their reports and dashboards highlighting where they are going, what’s on their road map, and why. So jealous…

  1. You lust after teams with executive sponsorship.

Oh, how you long for executive sponsorship! Other groups have it, you want it. Now. However, you know this is a common challenge among PMOs. They don’t always understand what value PMOs bring to the organization. The only option is to make them understand the bottom line – the hard, cold numbers. Present them with the cost savings that your projects are providing and they’ll have no choice but to back your team.

  1. The greed you experience for your team members is unhealthy.

The inefficiency of how you manage resources is evident to everyone. You want to keep everyone available and at your disposal in case new projects come in. You know you probably you shouldn’t, that their skills are needed elsewhere. In fact, sometimes you notice that your resources have too much work assigned to them, and yet you do nothing.

  1. Your wrath for ineffective change management is excessive.

The anger you feel when changes are not executed well is overpowering. Your organization wants to grow, change, standardize, and sustain. But without a good understanding of why changes re coming, how they will be implemented, and what’s in it for you, your rage and vexation is justified. If only they would clue you in, you might be able to calm your inner frustration.

  1. The immense effort of information security has you overcome with sloth.

You know you should do your due-diligence when it comes to information security. If you weren’t so lazy, you would analyze the security of new software purchase, make sure personally identifiable information (PII) is not accessible by anyone, and even stop putting your passwords on sticky notes. Sure, your confidential data could easily be hacked and the right data could fall in to the wrong hands. It’s just so time-consuming and difficult. Next time will be different, you promise.

  1. You have too much pride to be bothered with turning on a dime.

The way you are doing things today is working just fine.  Yes, there might be some aspects that could be better if the organization could move quickly, but you are too stubborn. You put this process in place years ago and it’s good enough. Any organizational agility would surely undermine your methods. Though it would likely help your team, department, and entire company, you’re don’t think that it’s needed.

  1. The obvious gluttony for multiple tools and solutions is not a problem for you.

On a daily basis, you use more than five solutions to do your job. Perhaps you have a separate tool for presentations, time tracking, managing projects and task schedules, road maps, what your team is working on, and budgeting. Each one might do what they do well, but it’s darn near impossible to roll up all that information. Although everyone begs you to use a Project Portfolio Management solution, making the case that have a single source of truth and one place to do all their work would make everyone’s lives easier, you don’t care. Maybe someday you’ll give in to their pleading, but until then you are basking in the many tools you force them to use.

Now, we know you didn’t mean to, but you did. You have committed one or more of these sins. Don’t despair, though, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. These seven sins are ones that are commonly seen throughout organizations of all industries, especially when change is brewing. However, there is hope! If you believe that you are an absolute angel, then stay tuned for the seven virtues of project management. See if you truly are the saint you believe, or if you’re a sinner like the rest of us.

Give in to your urge for more. Check out the Zombie PMO eBook and share it with your fellow sinners.

Note: Innotas does not promote any religious affiliation. However, Innotas does like to have fun around Halloween with a scary theme!

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Written by Kristyn Medeiros

Kristyn is the Commercial Americas Solutions Consulting Manager at Planview. She is a PMP certified project manager with 10+ years experience in the IT industry, leading teams under adverse and changing conditions. She is experienced in business analysis, problem solving techniques, and customer focus.