Organization Layer Project Layer
Skeptical Customers – Business units, division Lack of Authority – PMs cannot take swift
heads, contracting units, and others often donʼt action to manage projects or implement
see the value of a PMO. " practices without approval from Project
Directors, Sponsors, or Executives."
Increasingly Complex Projects – Especially Conﬂicting Guidance – To PMs from Sponsors
true for IT, as organizations move toward and Project Directors, including competing
enterprise solutions the level of complexity priorities and inconsistent practices."
Austere Budgets – Facing a post-ARRA world, “Matrixed” Resources – Team members on
governments face a 24-month lag in recovery. " loan, outside the PMʼs organization or “chain-of-
Multiple Missions – Disparate missions within Project Management “Overhead” – The
single organizations leads to funding practice is perceived as a burden. PMs and team
imbalances, power struggles and lack of results." forced to do projects over, instead of doing them
right at the beginning."
Traditional PMO Models
Center of • Minimal staffing, deep PM expertise
• Focus on methodologies and best practices
Excellence • Use of knowledge and content management tools
Project Support • Mix of PM and training expertise
• Focus on Coaching, Mentoring, Training
Office • Use of PMIS and LMS
Delivery • Stable of PM’s
• Focus on leading and managing projects
PMO • Use of schedule, risk, and related tools
Enterprise • PM’s, BA’s, training staff
• Portfolio ownership
PMO • Use of EPM and PPM tools
Lessons From the Field
Be Effective. The PMO Director should plan to spend 0%-15%
of her/his time managing projects. This is one of the major
causes of PMO failure, from our experience. The temptation is
to dive into project work, yet to be successful, the PMO needs a
champion that is agile, not buried in project work. Project
emergencies are not necessarily PMO emergencies.
Listen First. Consider engaging in “listening sessions” for key
customers of the PMO. These can involve 1-2 hour sessions
whereby the PMO presents its offerings and plans and asks for
feedback. Face to face sessions are preferred. The PMO should
be perceived as a “listening” and "learning’” organization more
so than one that is telling people what to do.