Talk of PPM, PMO and All Things Project

Welcome to this blog!

I hope to provide you with informational nuggets from my learnings and the successes/failures I have had in all things 'project'. I have worked across many industries and many cultures/countries, so most of my summarizations can be considered 'universal'.

Please send me an email if you have any special area of interest that you would like me to write on. If I can I will, if not, I will research and promise to send someone your way who can be of help.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Can An Experienced Project Manager Be a Good PMO Manager?

The art and science of starting, manning and running PMOs is a relatively recent phenomenon. And just like any other ‘new’ discipline, there are two simultaneous well-springs developing: one is the rush of towards PMO Management by individuals, hiring experts and headhunters who have Project Management skills or know others who do. The other is a steady maturation of the typically desirable profile of individuals who  have grown through the ranks of  Project Management.

Regardless of the origin of one’s claim to PMO Management skills, all concerned should be well aware that PMO Management requires job skills which are not all readily attained from traditional project management. There are three main factors influencing how much of one’s project management experience can be transported to PMO management:
(a)    the level of project management that the subject was involved in – in their organization (junior versus senior/wider role)
(b)   the level of complexity that the projects themselves – usually one’s ability to understand, utilize and refine oversight and management of process areas, knowledge areas and phases depends on how ‘quick and dirty’ one’s project experience has been
(c)    the project management maturity of the company one has worked in – is there a good understanding of the role of checklists, templates, documented processes, tollgates etc.

Experience needs to be complemented by some degree of formal introduction to PMO Management which, while it deals with the traditional knowledge areas, it does so on a wider scope, in-between projects and with much sharper focus/alignment to business results.

The level of understanding or education needed depends as much on the background of the person’s experience as it does on the mandates of the PMO – whether it is an Enterprise Level PMO or pertaining or one department or Business Unit, whether it is doing Program Management, Portfolio Management or simply more streamlined Project Management.

The following is a ready cheat-sheet of the essential role difference that headhunters, hiring companies and individuals seeking to make the shift can refer to:  
Write Charter
N/A
Responsible, Consultative
Metrics
Project Level: Responsible
Program Level: Responsible, Consultattive, Informational
Business case documentation
Informational
Responsible, Consultative, Informational
Risks documentation
At project level after kick-off and during monitoring & control
At program level prior to inception and updated based on environmental changes
Stakeholder communications
Yes
Yes
External Dependency Management
No
Yes
Vendor Management
Responsible, Accountable
No
Quality Management
Responsible, Accountable
No
Process Management
Responsible
Plan, Enforce
Governance
Responsible
Plan, Accountable
Lessons Learned & Best Practices
Document
Ensure utilization
Human Resource Management
Responsible, Accountable
Plan
Schedule Control
Responsible, Accountable
Informational
Cost Control
Responsible
Consultative, Informational
Budget control
Informational
Responsible, Accountable
Procurement
Responsible, Accountable
Informational, Consultative

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