Do you need a Project Management Office?

Do you need a Project Management Office? Are you working within a busy project environment and wondering whether a PMO would be beneficial or not? I have two questions for you:
1. What kind of pain is your project management environment experiencing?

2. Would the benefits of a typical PMO be of any worth to your organization?
Some of the symptoms you’re experiencing are probably things like:
– Too many projects in the project pipeline
– Too few resources for the committed projects
– A lack of project templates
– Limited or no senior level project management coaching or mentoring
Project budgets and timelines that are imposed without PM input or planning

Ask yourself whether you would benefit from:
– Effective limits set around the approval of new projects
– A balance between project tasks and the resources to perform those tasks
– Processes and project methodologies that enable greater consistency of project delivery
– Applicable document templates for planning, execution and closure of your projects
– Enhanced communication across the PM community and greater visibility

If your pain is great enough and some of these benefits would make sense in your organization, then maybe it’s time for a project management office.

Tips for setting it up:

Beware of the need for appropriate buy-in from your project management community and an effective change management plan. A large percentage of project management offices fail to achieve their initial goals because they neglect to deal with these two key blind spots. Without buy-in, you’ll lack the ability to enforce or encourage any significant change. Additionally, without an effective change management plan, you will have little hope of creating any long lasting changes in operational behavior within the project management community. People take time to digest change and make the necessary mental and emotional adjustments. When planning significant change, be prepared for the allowance of time. Major change can require anything from six months to multiple years.

Larry Barnard

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