5 factors to not let your PMO die!

Júnior Rodrigues
Sep 24, 2018 · 2 min read

With the increasing use of agile methods and, in parallel, a “demonization” of traditional project management visions, the PMO figure has been much questioned, mainly because its role is closely associated with a command and control bias in organizational initiatives.

For many organizations and enthusiasts of new approaches, using the words PMO and agile in the same sentence can be considered heresy, making the task of bringing agility to project management office a herculean challenge.

On the other hand, depending on how much your organization has invested in your current (and traditional) processes, and how open you are to consider making transformative changes, supporting the company’s migration to agility can also become a giant battle.

So, if you act or want to act in a PMO, keep your mind open to new ideas that challenge the linear methods of thinking and performing, as well as the old agile versus traditional dichotomy prevalent in the marketplace and in the community at large.

The implementation and management of an Agile PMO, as well as maintenance of an existing PMO and its transformation to agile, occur through an adaptation of its processes, functions and structure to this new approach.

However, even if using some framework or adapting some agile processes, the existence of your PMO can be with days counted, if you does not pay attention to these 5 fundamental aspects:

  • Complexity in today’s world — although it has become cliche to talk about the VUCA world, the Agile PMO approach needs to consider these aspects and act in a way to be an effective counterpoint in providing a shared and common vision, in an agile way.
  • Adequacy to the business — there is no ideal PMO model, but one that meets the needs of organization and projects being implemented.
  • Roadmap prioritization and definition — projects from the organization’s backlog need to be evaluated before becoming part or not of PMO backlog, as these need to be prioritized in a delivery roadmap.
  • Inspection and transparency — fluid communication is essential for achievement of valuable results, through constant verification of deliveries evolution and validation of their adherence to business needs.
  • Value to customer — it is only through an iterative process, where rework and waste are avoided, as well as the execution guarantee based on agile pillars, is that an organization becomes capable of performing value deliveries.

Thus, a broader and more adaptive approach is needed to enable Agile PMO implementation and management, which will guide the organization in turbulent waters of these wonderful new world.

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