• pmo


As you may have guessed, I am a champion of the PMO.  The Project Management Office plays a unique role in organizations and can be very effective at harnessing and balancing the resources available to conclude projects successfully.

More often than not, however; the PMO is implemented as an afterthought or is not given the true authority it must have to bring the results management and business owners desire.

The PMO often becomes challenged because it appears to be an additional layer of personnel that business owners and managers think they can not afford.  However; it is incumbent upon the PMO to justify its existence.  If it doesn’t then it’s fate will be relegated to the unessential category.

I’ve spent my entire career working projects and managing PMO’s.  I’ve had an assundry of titles but each position I held ended up focusing on projects of one type or another.  During this time I have come to understand some things pretty well; not the least is I can complete projects with above average results for one reason: PEOPLE.

This isn’t to say all of my projects were successful.  I do believe though that the failures were inherently do to not identifying the person or persons who would oppose the project for various reasons.  They may have been team members or outside influencers who were fundamentally opposed to the project scope and became challengers or obstacles to progress.

This simple statement should not be glossed over as appearing contrite or over simplistic.  PEOPLE are always the contributors to success or failure.

From time to time I’ll present clear examples of people’s influence on the outcomes of projects in the forums and blog and I’ll offer advice and opinions about methods to overcome challenges or improve the likelihood for success.

In addition; the whole point of this website is to focus on the people side of projects and Project Management Offices in today’s business because if you have a project and need it to be successful, it will be necessary to have project teams consisting of the right people doing the right things.

If you are not sure your project managers or PMO is performing to the level you expect, contact me.  Lets discuss your situation and focus on transforming ordinary into extra-ordinary!

Project Teams

So why do I focus on people? Afterall I mention process and procedure as one of the tools I use to improve project performance. The answer is easy, the best practices of project management are well understood. The methodologies for various types of projects are also well documented and are portable to many situations.

What isn’t so clear is understanding how people, personalities, talent, politics, beliefs, desires, and traits are instrumental to successful program offices and project execution.

Let me also assure you of this point: if you have a traditional organization where departments have functioned more or less autonomously, one of the largest obstacles you will face is from employees in these departments conditioned to working independently; who are now required to disclose the activities and the progress of those activities to the  project manager or PMO. Changing this culture may surely be one of, if not the largest impediment to your projects’ success and one which I can help you with.


What does a PMO look like?

The most sophisticated PMO I created was one staffed by professional project managers many of whom were PMI credentialled. The PMO also staffed assistant PM’s, project schedulers, and project accountants attached to the projects. The company was a mature matrix organization and teams of engineers and field supervisors were dedicated for the project durations.  The field teams were lead by employees acting as field managers and employed skilled contractors and direct labor as dictated by the project.  Resources such as equipment and tools were owned and managed by the PMO and allocated as needed.  Project values ranged from 10’s of thousands of dollars to over $60 million.

The projects were mainly automated system projects for the movement of luggage throughout an airport. Success was based on on time performance and on budget.

The largest project consisted of over 9837 tasks and all projects, budgets and tasks rolled up to an overall program view.  Reporting then was based on earned value as a whole and per project.

Manufacturing resources were scheduled and leveled by the coordination of the PMO and operations to ensure capacity utilization was maximized to utilize a constrained resource and able to meet project deliverables.

PMO Overview

6 professional project managers

3 project accountant

2 schedulers


Primavera Scheduling (augmented with Microsoft Projects)

ISO 9001 documentation

Accounting method: project accounting

Longest project duration: 3 years

Largest number of project employees: >450

Project Role: General Contractor or sub-contractor

  • Date June 30, 2015
  • Tags PMO

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