The Virtual PMO


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Consultant and author Jerry Manas shares his slide deck on The Virtual PMO, based on three interconnected trends happening in the workplace today: virtual teams; small-or-zero-staff PMOs; and a much broader and strategic role for today's PMO. Visit Jerry's website at

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The Virtual PMO

  1. 1. The Virtual PMO Jerry Manas [email_address]
  2. 2. An Emerging Concept The Virtual PMO
  3. 3. The Perfect Storm: 3 Growing Trends Virtual Teams (Dispersed Stakeholders) Small or Matrixed PMOs (Less Staff) PMO 2.0 (Broader Role)
  4. 4. The Perfect Storm: 3 Growing Trends <ul><li>Virtual teams </li></ul><ul><li>Telecommuting / flexible work </li></ul><ul><li>Offshoring/outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Travel restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidating markets/ mergers </li></ul><ul><li>Global expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Matrixed organizational structures </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction of brick and mortar expense </li></ul><ul><li>Small or Matrixed PMOs </li></ul><ul><li>PMO 2.0 * </li></ul><ul><ul><li>End-to-End IT work processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource Mgt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Strategy Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Process Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liaison with Finance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Oversight </li></ul></ul>* Term coined by Terry Doerscher of Planview
  5. 5. The incredible shrinking (and growing) PMO!
  6. 6. Can a PMO serve and influence geographically dispersed stakeholders with minimal or no support staff?
  7. 7. Virtual PMO Trends <ul><li>Small staff for administration & operations </li></ul><ul><li>Processes / artifacts created by cross-functional, virtual teams. </li></ul><ul><li>PMs / Business Analysts mostly distributed </li></ul><ul><li>Governance Councils Distributed </li></ul><ul><li>PMO Provides Tools for Reporting and Soliciting Input/Status </li></ul><ul><li>Can expand to support major projects </li></ul><ul><li>Broad sphere of influence </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates strategic alignment </li></ul>
  8. 8. “ Vision without execution is a hallucination.” - Thomas Edison Expanding PMO Sphere of Influence New PMO Sphere of Influence
  9. 9. Supporting the Portfolio and Program Mgt Processes <ul><li>Portfolio Management (Doing the Right Work) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing / Cyclical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alignment Oriented (Strategy, Funding) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus: Prioritization vs. Resource Constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: The Right Mix of Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Program Management (Doing the Work Right) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Execution Oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus: Project Interdependencies, Benefits & Timing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: Better Integration/Leverage of Related Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shared Administration & Oversight </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manage Common Benefits and Stakeholders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economies of Scale </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Talk about doing more with less!!! Are we prepared? Overwhelmed?
  11. 11. Some unique opportunities await…if we step forward…
  12. 12. <ul><li>The I’s have it: </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Influence </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul>The essence of a successful PMO I 3 Themes for Success
  13. 13. Distributed PMO Approach <ul><li>Success Factors: </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling Technology </li></ul>Hub = local manager, PMO, or PM PMO Hub Hub Hub <ul><li>Role of PMO </li></ul><ul><li>Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Change Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Support / Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Distribution </li></ul>
  14. 14. * Based on Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner model in 21 Leaders for the 21 st Century Improvement of Activity Improvement of Knowledge GLOBAL PMO LOCAL Managers, PMOs or PMs The “Through-Through” Relationship A Helical Progression toward Better Knowledge of Better Activities* PMO as Knowledge Broker
  15. 15. Together, everybody benefits…
  16. 16. <ul><ul><li>Strategic Alignment & Importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product & Service Advantage / Competitiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market Attractiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leveragability / Reusability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Ops Improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical Feasibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverages Core Competencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Reward </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulatory/Contractual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-Political (Internal / External) </li></ul></ul>Global/Divisional Considerations Which factors make one project more valuable than another? Q: Can weighting vary throughout the organization?
  17. 17. Virtual Team Considerations Leading with Teams
  18. 18. 3 Success Factors of ANY Virtual Team Engagement Governance Technology <ul><li>Inclusiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Small Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Goals Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Lean Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Teamwork Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Social Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Information </li></ul>
  19. 19. Some hints from a recent study…
  20. 20. The #1 thing people like about working virtually: Flexibility A close #2: Efficiency Early Survey Indicators: High Performing Virtual Teams , Manas, Aldridge, Ring, 2008/2009
  21. 21. The #1 thing people dislike about working virtually: Isolation (The Mushroom Effect) A close #2: Lack of work/life boundaries Early Survey Indicators: High Performing Virtual Teams , Manas, Aldridge, Ring, 2008/2009
  22. 22. The #1 barrier to adoption for social technology: Vulnerability A close #2: Individual Work Preference Early Survey Indicators: High Performing Virtual Teams , Manas, Aldridge, Ring, 2008/2009
  23. 23. 7 Ingredients for Virtual PMO Success <ul><li>Outcomes Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Management Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion over Compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines/Checklists over Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Standardize Selectively </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Broker Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it Simple = Quick Wins </li></ul>
  24. 24. “ The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” - Hans Hoffman
  25. 25. For More Information <ul><li>jmanas </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul> Jerry’s books are available where books are sold or at .