Supportive Project Management PMO21 October 2007
Supportive Project Management PMO
A supportive PMO focuses on empowering the project manager and project teams to solve common problems and succeed. This is the most common and most popular type of PMO for several reasons:
From a supportive PMO to a directive PMO. If the PMO methods and services are widely appreciated and accepted, the PMO may be able to leverage this into a reorganization of the company where the project managers are moved so that they report to the PMO itself. Once most or all project managers report to the PMO, the PMO is of the directive type. The PMO can then improve performance by:
Directing that all projects follow the Project Management Methodologies.
Integrating training, career path, and promotion based on project success under the PMO's direct supervision
Reducing cost by centralizing management services for projects, so that the same improvements are done at lower cost
In summary, the supportive PMO is the most common type, it is popular, and it effects rapid change early on – often in the first one to three years of operation. It takes these approaches:
A strong customer service focus to empower project managers and project teams. The motto might be, "We succeed when you succeed."
Empowers stakeholders by improving their skills and helping them solve their problems.
Reaches executives indirectly, by empowering project managers so that executives see improved project results and see problems disappearing.
Benefits the organization by empowering project managers to solve the problems that the PMO defined in its initial assessment of the organization's project management capability.
This will work until the supportive PMO's success results in most project managers solving their own problems. At that point, the PMO may have trouble justifying its existence. But it would be a mistake for the organization to close the PMO, because, if training is not maintained, then project managers will return to old habits and the old problems will come back. It is best to prepare for this moment by establishing a growth plan that turns the supportive PMO into a controlling or directive PMO.
The supportive PMO focuses on empowering project managers. In contrast, the controlling PMO focuses on ensuring that executive concerns are addressed.
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