Future of the PMO - PMO’s Journey

May 8, 2016

You may notice recent discussions about PMO, should we keep it, change it or demolish it. In this fast changing business environment, it is difficult to stay alive if you are still holding on to a decision you made 5 years ago! We all know that establishing a PMO can help regain control of failing projects. A PMO should enable organizations to implement processes and methods that help the organization not only meet their technical goals but also accomplish the processes around the technology implemented. We also agreed that the PMO should be neutral in the management role it plays, operating as a centre of excellence and the custodian of methodology chosen for all project managers. When they were established, many PMOs who followed the standard structure chose only one methodology for their organizations to solve the problems at hand. However, over time not just project managers, but project sponsors and program managers started asking for different methodologies to manage their projects! How can you let every project team choose a different methodology, such as Waterfall, Agile, PRINCE2, Kanban, Scrum and still be able to help them succeed? It is easier than you think. First, let’s agree that PMO is not a policing organization! It is not PMO’s role to monitor and control projects budget or resources or scope! This is a project manager’s and sponsor’s role along with related departments. In addition all these methodologies have one common goal; to make your project a success! There are certain tasks that need to be included in every project, such as reporting format. This is governance part of PMO, identifying high level objectives and requirements. Second part of PMO function should be support; providing guidance on which methodology to choose for a project or even for a work package; and training about the methodologies to choose. In short, most common used methodologies include: PRINCE2 (PRoject IN a Controlled Environment) is a structured process based approach for project management. This method is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK and is practiced worldwide. Waterfall is a sequential design process, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of Initiation, Planning, Analysis, Design, Develop, Testing, Production/Implementation, and Maintenance. PMI’s PMBOK is well suited to waterfall type of projects. Scrum is a simple yet incredibly powerful set of principles and practices that help teams deliver products in short cycles, enabling fast feedback, continual improvement, and rapid adaptation to change. Agile project management is an iterative and incremental method of managing the design and build activities for projects in a highly flexible and interactive manner. Kanban is a method for managing knowledge work with an emphasis on just-in-time delivery and reduced work-in-progress tasks. In this approach, the process, from definition of a task to its delivery to the customer, is displayed for participants to see and developers pull work from a queue. As you can see, each methodology has different strengths. To survive and thrive, a PMO’s best approach would be to provide knowledge, guidance and mentoring to project teams, and to help them choose and apply the right methodology to fit the requirements of the project. For more information or if you have any question feel free to contact me at feedback@decodeseries.com.

Written By Christine Aykac

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