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Avoid Project Management Office (PMO) Pitfalls

by Doug Boebinger, MS, PMP®

Office Meeting

In any economy, especially sluggish ones, companies look for more effective ways to develop their new products, offer new services, and implement new organizational initiatives.

To accomplish this, many companies decide to implement a Project Management Office (PMO).

There are common pitfalls to establishing a new PMO, which need to be understood and avoided:

  • Organizational management often does not understand what project management is and is not.
  • Organizational management does not understand the role of a Project Management Office.
  • A PMO cannot simply be “installed” like a software upgrade.

For a PMO to be effective it must be set up properly. To do so, organizations must consider:

  • The organization or company’s structure, and how that is reflected in the PMO structure.
  • The means at the organization’s disposal to earn money (operations, projects, or a mixture).
  • The differences between creating centralized vs. decentralized project teams and functional groups.
  • The influence of the organization’s culture on the creation of the PMO.
  • The level of project management knowledge within the organization.
  • The role the organization wants the project manager or the project management team to play.

Don’t expect the creation of a PMO to result in a quick fix, easy metrics,or immediate payback. Reaping the benefits of putting a PMO in place will take time.

Remember, it took time for your company to get into its “situation,” and it will take time to navigate out of it. But each journey starts with the first step, followed by a whole series of properly planned and executed other steps.

Contact IPDI to begin your journey on the right foot!

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