If we assume that most people want to do meaningful work—and that these people also find their ways into PMO roles—value should theoretically come out the other side. That this does not occur suggests there is something wrong about how we are defining what PMOs should do, the functions that they should perform or the manner in which those functions are being delivered.
One of the many roles that a PMO plays is that of supporting process development. How do we make sure that the processes we develop are relevant for our organizations?
Many PMOs play a role in providing centralized reporting of project status. Does this ensure objectivity and transparency, or does it mean that what gets reported is likely to be misleading or downright wrong?
PMOs have a role to play in the prioritization of projects. While they should not be the arbiters of this process, and it is not appropriate that they actually make the prioritization decision, they still have a role to play. How the PMO can enhance prioritization decisions.
Once PMOs get established, they are often put to use for far more than originally intended. In some instances this can be positive, as their value is appreciated; other expectations may be a step too far. Where does the idea of auditing projects fit in this continuum?
Should the PMO be accountable for projects? This is a question that has generated a lively debate. The right answer, as in some many instances, is ‘it depends’. The real question, however, is ‘depends on what?’