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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Monday, September 22, 2003

PMI Congress Notes -- This is one in a series of notes from the 2003 PMI North American Congress. They will likely highlight things I agree with, although might occasionally trigger my own comments favorable and unfavorable as well.

How to Best Use the PMO to Facilitate Project and Organizational Success (Ginger Levin, Parviz Rad) -- Even organizations that do not consider themselves project oriented organizations are actually project oriented. Are we achieving results? meeting objectives? satisfying customers? Did we get what we wanted, when we wanted, at appropriate cost?

PMs usually describe projects in terms of doing. These are the 10 things we have to do/did. Clients describe projects in term of the end result...what we got.

Typical PMO duties are project oriented, not necessarily results oriented. Two sets of functions...
-- project-oriented (consult, validation and assistance; mentor, side-by-side tutor; augment, fill gaps, "temp agency," aid with non-technical content aspects of project, firefighter)

-- enterprise-oriented (promote, PM culture advocate, making PM "easy;" archive, performance, lessons learned; practice, standards (process cop), best practices customized to environment; train, ongoing training) Project Selection...Portfolio/Pipeline Management as connection of projects to strategy (changing strategies). PMO needs to be placed high enough in organization to have influence on "PM culture." Organizations signal what is important by the top ten people running and influencing the show.
Motivations for PMOs...usually because of project pain, too often resulting in fire-fighting, band-aid modes of thinking. Must transform to forward-looking, strategic mode for real success. Cost of setting up PMO should be thought of like "cost of quality" -- cost of managing for success versus cost of fixing defects and firefighting.

WBS for PMO -- typical hierarchical view (fp - does not define interdependence between the roles), emphasizing ability to track cost of functions (fp - without talking about project throughputs or value)

Lessons Learned -- PMO is a Culture Change; don't downplay difficulty of dealing with culture. Clarity of of functions to be performed and not to be performed is necessary for optimal performance. Metrics and Maturity Assessments make data collection useful for PM process improvement. Acquire Stakeholder Support of PMO from executives and PMs. PMO life cycle...a plan for implementing and improving.

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