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It’s PMO Insanity! What if Just About Everything You’ve Been Told About the PMO Was Wrong?

Published By Martha Garcia

More organizations than ever are embracing the PMO; however, the PMO’s inability to prove business value, meet stakeholder expectations, and obtain organizational acceptance is limiting its life expectancy to only three years. Why are so many PMOs failing? What can you do to ensure your PMO doesn’t share the same fate? Learn more about the state of the PMO.

I recently gathered with a group of seasoned industry experts on a webcast we called, “It’s PMO Insanity! What if just about everything you’ve been told about the PMO was wrong?” to discuss these very issues. Lisa DiTullio, principal, Your Project Office, Mark Price Perry, senior vice president, BOT International, Terry Doerscher, PPM and PMO consultant and Jerry Manas, senior editor, Planview, all joined in on the conversation.

While the number of companies with a PMO is beginning to outnumber those without, the current state of the PMO tells us that there has been little improvement in PMO success rates or in the level of acceptance for PMO to establish a permanent element on the organizational chart.

The question became: What should you do to better serve your organization in your role as PMO directors and managers? Our panel of experts suggested.

  • Become a business-driven PMO — Make sure that your PMO is focusing on the leadership team’s business challenges and key initiatives that they (the leadership team) are looking to the PMO to take the lead on and help them achieve.
  • Focus on facilitating change — Position the PMO as an office of managing change; taking this role, the PMO becomes the expert on helping the organization execute change.
  • Adapt approaches that are:
    • Right for YOUR organization
    • Produce business results
    • Create a cohesive set of guidance — constantly refine the approaches that you are using and tailor them to your organization’s culture and unique needs.
  • Share responsibilities among the entire leadership team to define and manage expectations — Most organizations are taking on too many projects than their resources can handle. The PMO needs to access if they have enough resources to take on the projects and communicate with the leadership team that what they are attempting isn’t feasible. Set the expectations correctly and make sure that the PMO and the leadership team are on the same page.
  • PMO to actively engage with stakeholders — Back away from the computer! Take the time to really understand what your organization’s leadership team is struggling with and understand what your role is in helping them to operate more effectively and efficiently.

Think outside the box in terms of the traditional definition and role of a PMO; if you don’t, you could be missing extraordinary opportunities to deliver value to your organization.

Get more insights from the group by accessing the full PMO Insanity webcast.

If you are in the Chicago area, take advantage of a great opportunity to discuss these topics further in a 2-day workshop at, PMOEdge Chicago, August 12, 2013.

Portfolio Perspectives readers can take advantage of a $300 off the regular registration rate; just use the discount code CHICAGO813.

The panel of experts will also be at PMOEdge Orlando. Learn more at: PMOEdge Orlando Workshop

What are ways you have found that help to better serve your leadership team in your role and have proven to deliver greater value to your organization? Let us know! We would love to get your thoughts on the topic.

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Martha Garcia Written by Martha Garcia

Martha Garcia graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Communication Studies. It was here that she developed an interest in corporate communication, specifically in the areas of change management within complex organizations as well as leadership and organizational behavior. Martha is responsible for working closely with thought leaders in the areas of IT and the PMO to develop compelling programs and content including informative webcasts and white papers for the IT PMO community.