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The AtekPC PMO Case

1. What is the purpose and mission of a PMO?


Mission:
Deliver successful IT projects
Build Project Management maturity at the organizational level
Keep Management and Project Community informed
Serve as the organizations authority on IT Project Management practices
Purpose:
The purpose was to have consistent project practices as formal documentation
and plans for PMO did not exist
Responsibilities:
At present the responsibilities limited to IT projects. Te duties of PMO were
divided into 2 categories:
1) Project Focused (consulting, mentoring, and training) ** Primary means
used to prove PMO merit;
2) Enterprise Oriented (portfolio management, PM standards, methods, and
tools)
2. What are the main challenges and obstacles in implementing a
PMO?
I see a lot of headaches for the CIO when implementation a PMO in the
enterprise. Regardless of the technical challenges during the implementation,
the core of the problems seems to be that the PMO is lacking organization
support, from the top to the bottom. There is not enough executive stakeholder
support; there is no visibility of the program; there is a conflict of interests
within departments; people are reluctant to change the ways they have been
doing things.
The PMO vision and role is not clearly defined. There is no complete
agreement regarding its purpose, its responsibilities, and its authority. It has
slowly evolved.
Not enough executive stakeholder support. Not all of the senior
executives were equally enthused about the PMO concept. Authority was
primarily being developed bottom-up through the value of the PMO services.
Even this was limited to those functional areas and IT areas actively engaging
the PMO. There was no current plan to enforce usage at the enterprise level.
Corporate culture limitation. Corporate cultural change had been informal.
They never treated PM, PMO, formal processes seriously. Normal Operation
Processes and function units have to change their culture, behaviour, and even
habits if they work with a PMO.
No support from department management. Department managers may
see no value in introducing a PMO in their projects. Also there are political
conflicts as well, with managers worrying about the PMO getting to much
authority.

3. What structural and governance mechanisms are critical to


effective PMO implementation?
A successful structure can range from simple project data reporting to a
centralized structure that takes the lead on every aspect of project management.
A PMO that is organizationally based versus departmentally based is more likely
to get executive support. A de-centralized PMO structure could have difficulty
performing a strong role when using matrix-managed resources. A centralized
structure that does nothing more than report status will add too much overhead
to the institution. The more responsibility assigned to project office, the higher
it should report in the institution. The most robust structure usually requires
reporting directly to the President or CEO of the institution for maximum
effectiveness. For staff allocation, a combination of the two approaches will
require the company to hire an individual for PMO implementation. Along with
that the current managers can be trained for the PMO implementation to make
it effective without hiring new staff as the company has limited resources
available.
4. How much PM is enough PM? How much PMO support is enough
PMO support?
AptekPC seems to have an informal pattern of communication, which cant be
radically changed within a short time. However a gradual shift can be brought
through the use of PMO light by focusing on the strengths of the process and
allowing the employees to understand, accept and adapt to the changed
procedures. Culture plays perhaps the biggest role in whether the organization
is successful in executing projects. Managers, including the head of the
organization, need to step up and evaluate the project culture. Until the culture
changes, project managers will consistently struggle to be successful.