PM Earth

PMO Project Management Office Maturity

08 December 2007

PMO Project Management Office Maturity

The implementation of governance is a relatively advanced function. Typically, governance will be implemented by a more mature PMO. This issue is explained by looking at these topics:

Minimum requirements for implementing governance

Governance and corporate culture

Authority to implement governance

Successful techniques for implementing governance

Minimum requirements for implementing governance

Before governance is implemented, the PMO must ensure the following results are achieved:

PMO methodology, standards, and processes are stable.

PMO methodology, standards, and processes are generally accepted by the majority of project managers, executives, and senior managers.

Sufficient training and other support (such as mentoring) has been provided so that project managers feel confident that they are able to run projects according to the methodology, in compliance with standards, and by using the appropriate processes.

As a result of the above, there must be a general sense among project managers that they own the methodology and want to do it, rather than that it is imposed by the PMO.

A project management career path must be implemented through the Support Staff service.

Job roles other than the online project management career path need to be clear and consistent.

If these requirements are not met, then the effort to implement governance is likely to fail in two ways:

Project managers will feel that they are being held accountable for processes that they have not been taught. The result is resistance, similar to what happens when students are given an exam on materials that weren't covered in class.

Executive and senior managers outside the PMO may feel that the effort to implement governance is a power-play to gain more control of the company. They will resent the perceived interference, and seek to interfere with the PMO's authority.

Also, if the PMO is going to put a knowledge base in place, it is very beneficial to do this before governance is implemented. If a knowledge base with document management is available, then governance can be implemented in the document management system very efficiently. The converse is also true: implementing governance may be prohibitively expensive if no document management system is in place.

This point can be illustrated with this example: Any document, such as a contract for services, must be approved by multiple people in different job roles. In a document management system, the authors, editors, reviewers, and approval signatories for the document can be defined. When one person finishes work on a document, it is automatically forwarded to the next people for review or approval. When one considers that governance determines review and approval requirements for hundreds of documents, one can see that, without automated document management, governance quickly becomes a substantial, costly, bureaucratic overhead expense.


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