Saturday, January 03, 2009

Two Types of PMOs - Yours and NOT yours

That’s my premise; there are only two types of PMOs - Yours and not yours.

Why do I say this - Well, I have some ideas that have been percolating for a while. Not original ideas by any means, maybe it’s just me catching up. Here are some observations that have led me to this thinking.

There is NO clear model or template for a PMO.
Try as we might with the innumerable descriptions of PMOs we can’t seem to come to an consensus – a quick web search shows these:
  • General PMO
  • Supportive PMO
  • Controlling PMO
  • Directive PMO
  • Insider PMO
  • Assisted PMO
  • Virtual PMO
  • Excellence PMO (center of Excellence)
  • Administrative PMO
  • Strategic PMO
  • Project Specific PMO
  • Organizational PMO
  • Special-purpose PMO
Well, you get the idea. Some overlap there.

Everyone is doing something different
Don’t’ take my word for it; look at Dr. Hobbs study here. We’re bi-polar and all over the map.

So why is this?? Are we all confused? Are we stupid? Perhaps we are looking at this wrong? I’m going with the latter.

At the PMO SIG Symposium in November, I was leading the Accord session, and the ideas and comments from the participants really made this gel for me.

First – There isn’t a “right” PMO or a “perfect” PMO – the only type of PMO is YOUR PMO. By that I mean simply that PMOs are unique - similar certainly, but unique none the less. That means that we can apply a framework, but not a template. We’ve been trying to apply a template and not a framework.

Second – The consensus of the participants at the Symposium was that you can build a PMO from basic building blocks, but you can’t pre-define the entire organization. We need to look at PMO capabilities and services as separate entities and not as components of a whole.

PMOs are modular structures, not pre-fabs.

What we need is a framework or skeleton that tells us how to put these components together in a way that works best for one and only one PMO - YOURS.

So, there are really only two types of PMOs – Yours – and not yours.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

the PMO in 2009

So a question for all of you.

Where do you think the PMO (your PMO in specific) will go in 2009? Will the global economic situation cause a rise in the use of PMOs to gain efficiencies, or will PMOs be seen as administrative overhead and mercilessly cut? Let us know how you are fareing and your thoughts on how best to take advantage of the challenges we face in 2009.