203.0 PMOStep Principles

The following represents the set of guiding principles of the PMOStep Framework and is reflected in all the subsequent content.

  1. The PMOStep model will result in the creation of a value-add PMO. It is important to recognize what this means. The PMO is not an organization that just implements processes and creates bottlenecks. The PMO must constantly validate that it is providing real value to the organization. If the PMO is doing work that does not provide value, the work should be questioned and discarded.

  2. The content of PMOStep must be balanced against the roles and responsibilities of your PMO. PMOStep should be implemented in a flexible and scalable manner based on the size and complexity of your organization and your projects. It does not make sense to put a large PMO in place for organizations that don't execute many projects in a year. However, the larger the organization base and the more projects your organization executes, the more aspects of PMOStep will apply.

  3. PMOStep sees the deployment and support of project management processes and discipline within an organization as a culture change initiative. That is, you are asking people to change how they do their jobs. The PMO will help people in the organization be more productive and help project managers complete projects within expectations. The overall success of the PMO will hinge on how well the use of the consistent project management methodology is integrated into the culture. In other words, if the PMO rolls out a project management initiative, but the staff members do not internalize project management into their normal routine, the PMO will not be successful. Likewise, if the central PMO is disbanded (for whatever reasons) without the project management processes being integrated into part of the culture, the PMO will not be successful. 

  4. Because implementing project management is a process and not an event, the PMO should be established with a long-term horizon in mind. Of course, business conditions change, and PMOs are not immune to cutbacks. However, if the PMO is established with a short-term deployment mindset, and not a long-term culture change mindset, it will ultimately be unsuccessful.

The PMO can be the major instigator of culture change associated with deploying good project management processes and practices. As part of this effort, the PMO may take responsibility for consolidating status, performing quality audits, improving project management competency, etc. However, it needs to be clear that the responsibility of successfully completing the project still rests with the project manager. The PMO can help the project manager be successful, but the PMO is not managing projects. Individual project managers are still managing the projects.

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