PM Earth

The Benefits of Project Independence

02 January 2008

The Benefits of Gaining Project Independence

The primary benefits of independence are:


A greater chance of catching errors sooner, and correcting them at lower costs. As explained above, a lack of independence of ideas creates a risk that an error will move forward through project phases or even go all the way into the product. This increases the cost of correcting the error, and the longer the delay, the greater the cost. For example, a design change before manufacturing costs less than rework for every device built. And re-work of every device costs much less than a recall of defective devices.


Greater credibility. When independence, including the appearance of independence, is established, then the assessments, reviews, and audits gain greater credibility. The PMO can gain this credibility for its reviews, audits, and assessments in any of four ways.


By setting up an independent controlling PMO that does not report to the supportive or directive PMO.

At times when independence is essential, having the PMO Steering Committee hire an outside reviewer, auditor, or assessor.


When neither of these is possible, some degree of independence can be established by having the PMO Audit Project Manager report directly to the PMO Steering Committee, instead of to the PMO Manager.

By performing assessments, reviews, and audits that compare actual work to independent standards. For example, if a project management process is assessed and compared to the PMBOK® or PRINCE2® standard, then the PMO can use external research to validate claims that process improvement to adhere to these standards will bring benefit to the projects and the company.


The benefits of independence must, however, be weighed against the costs.

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