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
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.
As a member of PMI, I receive several emails a week from Projectmanagement.com notifying me that certain templates are available for free for a limited time. I receive such notices because I’m a member of PMI, and PMI as many of you may know, acquired Projectmanagement.com just a short time ago. The most recent email I received told me that there were 9 new templates and that I’d better act quick and download them right away before “They’re back in the PREMIUM library!” It’s as if the genie was only going to be out of the bottle so long and that if I didn’t act, I’d never see her again. That got me to thinking about the use of templates in project management practice. Templates can be very helpful but only in the possession of someone who knows how to use them. Just filling in the blanks doesn’t mean someone knows how to use a template. But given the hype and hoopla some organizations seem to place on the use and value of templates I think they may be oversold in our field.
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
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