Advantage /Disadvantages of a Facilitative Managing PMO

Posted by Kevin Brady on Mon 18th February 2008 at 01:30 AM, Filed in PMO

The Best Engine For Success

For the Pros and Cons of other PMO models please see blogg posts Managing PMO, Consulting PMO or PSO

Seen through the eyes of a deploying Managing Consultant this model draws on the best features of the Managing and Consulting PMO models to create a hybrid model between the managing and the consulting PMO models. This drives and supports project management practices via a centralising PMO, but with the majority of the management of individual projects /programmes resting with formalised partnerships between individual end client business units and on-the-ground project /programme management resource.

This PMO model has at is core a “day-one” minimum to go with set of processes and procedures such as resource management, cost control through earned value management and the use of advanced centralised planning techniques. None of these core services correctly implemented causes end client resistance because these PMO services were run in such a way as not to be visible to the end client and thus had zero perceived impact in terms of organisational change.

This facilitative managing PMO will provide some kind of rollup reporting for all these projects /programmes for review by steering groups and designated programme level sponsorship. Such governance structures provide through rollup reporting a clear escalation path for risks and issues, which helps develop strategic level partnering between suppliers and typical end-client organisations.

The facilitative managing PMO provides consulting services, training, standards setting and the encouragement of best practices adoption via a facilitative approach to there set-up and eventual execution. Such organisational structures /processes and procedures are developed in partnership between the end-client and the deploying Managing Consultancies project management as part of an evolutionary process of PMO growth.
This approach often necessitates the development of a PMO development roadmap, or vision statement, which lays out the order in which the PMO is to grow in clear process and procedure development stages. The processes and procedures giving the biggest benefits for my client were executed through client facilitated agreement in the following order (client constraints allowing) :-

  • Risk /Issue management
  • Planning
  • Change management
  • Cross Dependency management
  • Quality Management

Perceived advantages of such a model are:-

  • End-client organisational change necessary to support a new PMO is minimal, and develops at a rate of change acceptable and achievable within the cultural and organisational constraints of end- client organisations.
  • This model draws in and retains PMO staff of a high calibre
  • Risk and issue management is able to function correctly in terms of clear escalation paths.
  • Strong financial and resource control over projects /programmes is present and able to generate efficiency and profitability to the given programme.
  • This model can establish widespread respect from an end client for the project management team and develop a sense of belonging to something professional amongst its members.
  • Facilitated process and procedure evolution with key stakeholders builds a high degree of customer satisfaction and a belief amongst surveyed clients that my client offered a flexible and dynamic project management approach.
  • Offers sufficient project /programme management control from day one to enable profitability to be protected and improved providing other process and procedural improvements were implemented as per the PMO development road map.
  • Tough change control processes and procedures used as a secondary income stream.
  • Well defined roles and responsibilities for all people engaged in the programme reducing the risk of effort duplication and conflict between individuals and teams.
  • Cross dependency management working to some degree in most PMO’s of this type surveyed.

Perceived disadvantages of this model were judged to be:

  • The quality of PMO staff has to be exceptionally high, with first class client facilitation skills. These are qualities hard to come by even in soft labour markets.
  • This model does not create day one scope boundaries between PMO designated and controlled projects /programmes and client based organisational tasks and activities. This means that end-clients often think the PMO’s role should be wider than it was intended at the outset and, in a number of observed cases, the PMO’s became through association and proximity responsible for the clients change management PMO responsibilities as well as the fee earning IT delivery aspects of the programme at no extra charge. Ouch!
  • Such a PMO model often never achieves full governance and best practice adoption, failing to achieve evolutionary road map objectives prior to programme close. PMO process growth through facilitated agreement of the end clients just took to long to achieve results in many cases.
  • Facilitation activities with end-clients drained PMO resource of the necessary time to properly implement PMO processes and procedures starving the end client and my client of the much of the benefits a PMO could provide.

This entry has been viewed 2628 times.


No comments yet.


Please feel free to submit relevant comments to this entry but note: inappropriate or purely promotional comments may be removed as will be personal abuse and defamatory remarks. Reasoned debate and substantiated critique on the topic in hand is encouraged and welcomed. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.


Email address is required but will not appear publicly:

Add your comments below:

Remember my personal information for next time

Submit the word you see below:

15 + 1 =