The APM group in Norwich met on 24 January to hear Peter Taylor speak about PMOs - Benefit or Burden.
After explaining why we should and then why we shouldnt listen to him (a slightly risky strategy but one the Peter carried off well!) Peter led the group through the aims and objectives of the majority of PMOs. Drawing in useful statistics from a range of reputable surveys, he reinforced his thinking with facts, allowing the group to consider which type or types of PMO structures they had experienced and to weigh up the pros and cons of each structure.
Emphasising that the PMO is there to provide valuable support to projects, Peter then looked at the attitudes some project managers have, according to surveys, about PMOs and challenged those project managers present to think again!
The PMO acid test (get your PMO leader to call your CEO and count the number of seconds before he recognises their name) caused some amusement within the group, especially from those in larger organisations! Food for thought though, with so much invested in PMOs, the recognition should be greater than it is.
Further explanation of the key competencies for PMOs and a round up of what they are not (e.g. the governance police!) rounded off a well presented and enjoyable evening.