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Zombie PMOs…don’t be that guy.

For several years now the phrase ‘Zombie PMO’ has been used to describe a PMO organization that is barely alive — more focused on mundane self-serving practices than delivering business value.  Be sure that well before the ‘Zombie’ reference was born, this has been a crisis in the PM community.  For years we’ve seen PMOs come and go in and out of fashion, not because the concept of a PMO lacked business value, but because those executing the PMO have failed to focus on the business value they should be delivering.

We staunchly support the idea of embracing best-practices, standards, governance, and employing sound methodology.  But, without an understanding of how these characteristics should be leveraged to deliver for the business you run the risk of becoming antiquated, unnecessary, and overhead that the business will either ignore or disband.

One of the critical actions that I would encourage for any PMO leader is to engage in a healthy dialog with the business counterparts and ask them directly what they are looking to achieve.  Not surprisingly, I have found in many organizations a huge disconnect between what the PMO thinks its job is and what their business sponsors think their job is.

Much has been written about the tell-tale signs of a Zombie PMO — lack of a PMO strategy, vision, mission — and an equal amount has been written about how to become a relevant player in the eyes of the business. But, just as all organizations are not the same nor should all PMOs be the same.  The alignment needs to start with an honest conversation that clearly outlines what a business wants the PMO to achieve for them.  Often, the PMO feels they have the monopoly on understanding the value of a PMO function. However, if you adopt this strategy of trying to convince the business that PMO-knows-best, you do so at your own peril.

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Using a Project Charter Template

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Enterprise Project Used By Management

When the reference to an enterprise project is made, it usually means a very large and complex project is the focus. Because of the extreme complexity of this size Read Article »

Is Governance helping you or slowing you down ?

We’ve worked with many organizations that have put in place some fairly mature project management processes and implemented what they call ‘Governance’. While we 100% support the practice of Read Article »

Project Management Life Cycle

Project Management Life Cycle
…Avoiding confusion with Project Life Cycle

Project Management Life Cycle vs Project Life Cycle

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many cases where these two are used interchangeably without acknowledging that Read Article »

Portfolio Management

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What is Project Portfolio Management?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project portfolio management — or simply portfolio management — Read Article »

Basics of Procurement

Basics of Procurement
Procurement refers to obtaining goods and services from outside companies. This specifically refers to vendors and suppliers. It does not refer to other internal organizations within your Read Article »

Risk Analysis can help right-size project governance and structure.

One of the most frequently debated questions we have seen in today’s PMO environment is that of “How much is enough process, governance and oversight”?

Business managers want to be Read Article »

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