Project management offices have a largely abysmal record, and are often established in crisis. And organizations are willing to shut them down so quickly, another product of a truth that many don’t acknowledge: Establishing a PMO is a change to the power structure and dynamics of the organization.
Conceptually, the idea of a PMO is worthwhile. The practical reality is often something different. And therein lies the rub: PMOs look great on paper, and yet in actuality they are often questionably relevant and useful.
The average lifespan of a PMO from inception to demise is approximately two years. That raises numerous questions regarding the purpose and relevance of PMOs. Those questions, however, can probably summed up with one general one: Have we reached peak PMO?
PMOs have been around for a while, now. Are they still relevant? Where they ever? And what are the key roles that a PMO should play? Where do they most provide value? A view of PMOs, through the lens of a major research effort into project management value.
In many organizations, we are now seeing multiple different PMOs emerge, each with different models, strategies and structures. Some exist within business units, while others are being established corporately. What is driving this perceived need for multiple PMOs, and what does it mean for how projects are approached in organizations?
Project management is a critical capability for many organizations. Project managers therefore play a pretty important role. And yet, sadly, there is little time, effort or attention spent on the development of project managers.