5 ways to boost your AND your PMO’s value (Part 1)

5 ways to boost your AND your PMO’s value (Part 1)

Many PMO Directors want to provide value and actually think they are based on their “inside-out” view of the world. The “outside-in” perspective tells a completely different story, one that for many unsuspecting PMO Directors will have a very bad ending: their PMO will be disbanded and they will be looking for work. For the past two years, ESI International has conducted comprehensive global surveys of the State of the PMO, and analyzed scores of others. For more than four years it has engaged PMO Heads from every industry sector in round table events. And what the surveys reveal will startle, and educate, PMO Heads in every geography and industry sector. In short, what a PMO Head thinks they should be doing is, in fact, the last thing they should be spending your time on. I’ve taken those findings and boiled them down to 5 key takeaways; ways, in which value can be boosted

Read More

Who determines the PMO’s value?

Who determines the PMO’s value?

It is clear from my work in the area of PMO startup and development that there are three key stakeholder groups that determine the PMO’s value. They are the─ Executive(s) under whose organization the PMO function and responsibility reside Project and program managers who either directly report to the PMO or who are heavily influenced by it Clients (internal or external) who are serviced by the project and program managers who deliver the new product or service resulting from their effort What does each group value? The key question each PMO Head has to answer is “what do each of these groups value?” In other words, what are they looking for from the PMO to facilitate their work and provide contributions to the organization?  In my experience, PMO Heads often fail to answer this question either because they think they know what each group needs, or, they assume that all key stakeholder groups’ needs are the same. In fact, this is not the case. The needs of the executive are entirely different from those of the project and program managers; in fact, the executive’s perspective is actually more aligned with those of the clients than with the project and program managers whose view tends to be somewhat more focused on the work effort itself rather than broad organizational goals and outcomes.  Thus, this difference of perspective is where we can look to gain helpful insight into ways that the PMO Head can boost not only his or her own value in the organization, but the PMO’s as well. In fact, the two are generally considered inseparable. Which group is the most important

Read More

6 ways the PMO can become the hub of PM development

6 ways the PMO can become the hub of PM development

PMO’s looking to increase their value proposition, which many need to do, can make a big impact by becoming the hub of professional development for the project and program managers in their organizations whether those folks report directly to them or not. Based on my work with PMOs in many different industries here are ways any PMO Head can make this happen.   1.  Make a concerted effort to “own” the core competencies and skills profiles for project and program management   If H.R. will not relinquish control, then make sure you work closely with them in this area. After all, if the right core skills are not defined, there is no basis for a structured and systematic approach to developing these professionals.

Read More

IT business cases and project schedules….a new perspective

IT business cases and project schedules….a new perspective

Investing in new technology has always been a risky business, but that hasn’t stopped many organizations from forging ahead with grand plans. The reason is the payoff for such systems is enticing. For years, technology investing, and therefore business case development, has shown anywhere from a 3-5 year ROI. That just happens to match the depreciation schedule of such investments but I won’t bore you with accounting details here. But the rules of the game have changed, and changed dramatically. Technology refresh cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, and are now approaching 2 years. This means that any legitimate business case supporting such investments needs to span no more than 2 years as well

Read More

Is PMI’s new requirements credential going to prevent problems like these?

Is PMI’s new requirements credential going to prevent problems like these?

By “these” I am referring to the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failure of 1995. The pics below tell it’s sad tale. Designed to help scientists understand Mar’s water history and potential for life, the $125 m spacecraft completed a nearly 10 month journey to Mars where it was to go into orbit around the “red planet.”   It was launched on 11 December 1998 at 18:45:51 UTC aboard a Delta II 7425 rocket from Cape Canaveral SLC-17A   It was a successful launch and everyone at Mission Control congratulated themselves on the beginning of such an exciting mission.   On September 23, 1999 all communications with the spacecraft was lost.   The spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, causing it to pass through the upper atmosphere and disintegrate. In NASA’s language it “unintentionally deorbited.” The question was “Why?”   The ground based software, developed by Lockheed, a contractor, was written using English foot-pound units, instead of the metric units specified by NASA in its contract. A classic case of failure to meet the requirements otherwise known as a pretty big screw up!   NASA did a complete investigation and lessons learned to uncover why such a critical requirement was completely missed

Read More