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Project Portfolio Management

Symptoms of the Zombie PMO

Part 1: Recognize the signs to protect your business

Published By Maria Harper
Symptoms of the Zombie PMO

Warning: The following is an emergency alert. There is an outbreak infecting businesses across the world, creating a condition termed the “Zombie PMO.” The name, coined from behaviors such as a languished state of existence and a narrow focus on projects, points to the reality that many PMOs are failing to be flexible and adaptable—two traits that are critical in today’s work environment.

Thankfully, there is hope. Experts Jason Morio, director of product management, Planview – PPM Pro and ProjectPlace and AJ Shavell, solutions consultant, have banded together to discuss the symptoms of a zombie PMO and present several cures. To help you curtail any lasting damage and save your PMO from demise, they recorded their take on the outbreak and how to solve the problem in the on-demand webinar, “Avoiding the Pitfall of the Zombie PMO.”

Avoidiing the Pitfalls of a Zombie PMO

Here are some of the symptoms and behaviors you should look out for in your PMO:

  • Operating with a one-size-fits-all philosophy;
  • Being mired in clerical tasks;
  • Maintaining the same standards, regardless of changing work types;
  • Upholding a flimsy definition of value; and
  • Failing to recognize variety in projects and programs.

Essentially a “zombie PMO” is one that focuses on easy tasks, adheres to siloed systems, and has a rigid approach to consistency—you may say they’re stuck in a rut. According to Gartner, by 2021 such traditional project management disciplines will be widely replaced by modern, dynamic methods, and IT PMOs that fail to keep up may end up being disbanded entirely. The PMO must shift focus toward speed of delivery to prevent “zombification.” Those already afflicted by this zombie state must administer a cure immediately.

Through the cures explained in the webinar, your PMO can go from the state of a zombie to being adaptive, enlightened, and value-driven. Be sure to watch the full webinar and read part 2 of this series, “Cure Your Zombie PMO,” to learn how to cure the above symptoms, as well as witness a full demo of Planview PPM Pro, the tool that will allow your PMO to adopt a planning driven approach and focus on the projects that deliver the most value.

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Written by Maria Harper Manager, Demand Generation

Maria Harper is a demand generation specialist at Planview focusing on PPM solutions and French and German marketing. She is passionate about data-driven marketing and enjoys applying analytical insights to creative messaging in order maximize marketing potential. She graduated from the University of Missouri with bachelor degrees in German and Journalism.