Your project management office needs you

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The annual Wellingtone and APM Project Management Office Specific Interest Group State of Project Management survey shows that approximately 85 per cent of project organisations have a project management office (PMO) of one type or another. This is good news, but often project managers are not advocates, a common complaint being: 'They just keep hassling me, asking for project reports!' The same survey also showed that more than 55 per cent of respondents were 'very' or 'somewhat' dissatisfied with the current level of project management maturity in their organisation.

You cannot have it both ways. Project managers cannot be mavericks. Every organisation should define a simple, practical project management methodology, championed and owned by the PMO. When a new project managers joins the organisation, they should be thoroughly 'sheep dipped' in this agreed scalable approach. We don't want every project manager running off and doing their own thing. It might be in your interest as a project manager, but it's certainly not in the interest of the wider organisation. Consistent reporting on a timely basis is not unreasonable. As a project manager, you have to accept that you do need to feed the machine with this information.

What should be driving maturity? What should be driving consistency in methodology and continuous improvement? The PMO. We should all be advocates of the PMO. Of course, yours may not be perfect. I'm sure it could be improved, but you have to get behind it, not stand in the way complaining. The PMO is the best way of championing project management standards, methods, training, tools and the development of a community of practitioners.

PMOs benefit from having depth in project management capability. Consider this as a career route. Come away from day-to-day projects and set standards for your organisation as part of a PMO centre of excellence. Running a project is a challenge. Driving maturity in project management for a department or organisation is also quite a challenge. Time to embrace. Your PMO needs you.

This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 edition of Project journal.


Vince Hines

Posted by Vince Hines on 13th Jun 2017

About the Author

Vince is the Managing Director of Wellingtone PPM; the project management consulting company based in Windsor, Berkshire. We retain a particular focus not just in the UK but Ireland and Spain.  Wellingtone is the only organisation that is both a Microsoft Gold Partner with the PPM Specialisation as well as an APM Accredited training provider.  Wellingtone is also the exclusive UK partner of the PMO Global Alliance and PMO Value Ring as well as PMOtto; the AI Bot for MS Project Online.

Wellingtone works closely with the APM and sponsors the Annual Salary Survey as well as the PMO of the Year Award.  We also run our PMO focused annual conference; FuturePMO.  We have developed courses in Legal Project Management and the PMO, both of which have been Accreditred by the APM as part of the APM Professional Courses route.

Our "PPM Intelligence" is also demonstrated by publishing The State of Project Management; the largest piece of annual reseearch of its kind in conjunction with UCL, the APM PMO SIG and the APM Systems Thinking SIG.

Vince is an expert Project Management Consultant, having worked with clients across the UK, US and Europe. He retains a number of professional qualifications including MAPM and has extensive real world experience of developing client project management maturity. As an active member of the APM community Vince is also a judge for the Annual APM Awards.

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