April 11, 2017

ITL Meeting Recap: So, Who Needs a PMO Anyways?

A Project Management Office can be the foundation of managing and executing successful projects within an organization. It provides structure, facilitates better communication, fosters better resource management, reduces project failures, and so on. However, even with these positives, a PMO isn’t necessary or valuable for all organizations. But, how can something with so many perceived benefits not be valuable to all companies?

At last Friday’s IT Leadership group meeting, Tawnya Fielder, Senior Director IT Solutions Delivery and PMO at Xcel Energy, shared her insights on So, Who Needs a PMO Anyways? During the discussion, the group explored the concept and touched on why a PMO may not be important to all organizations.   

Every organization is different, whether it’s the size, the culture, or the industry. Therefore, their needs, including their project management needs, differ from one another. For example, a large organization with tons of projects is more likely to need a PMO than a small organization working on only a handful of projects at a time. No matter how talented the people running the projects are, the more projects the harder it is to manage them all and, more importantly, manage them successfully. As a result, it makes more sense for a large organization to have a PMO in place to help develop standards and deliver consistency.

Culture also plays a huge role in whether an organization will benefit from having a PMO. For a PMO to truly be effective, it must align with the organization’s culture and strategy. For some organizations, a PMO won’t necessarily be appropriate for their environment based on the current company culture and structure. And, it ultimately just may not make sense for some organizations because they are successful without one and that’s okay!

There is no “standard” when it comes to developing or establishing a PMO within your organization. It was stated during the conversation that many companies are moving toward a hybrid model when it comes to establishing their PMO. This means organizations are using both decentralized and centralized approaches. Customization is key and it is crucial to tailor your PMO to best align with your organization and its needs because what may work for one company could be a complete failure for the next. As the organization continues to grow, it is critical that the PMO evolves and adapts to the environment.  

Do you think a PMO is necessary in your organization?

Posted by: Rachael Gaffney

Tags:  Meeting Recap, PMO Group

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