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The Business Driven PMO

A couple of weeks ago we were in Manchester for an evening of The Value of the PMO. The evening event explored three different insights that are focused on the value a PMO provides to an organisation. We looked at what P3O had to say; the PMO Value Ring (something we’ve written about before) and the Business Driven PMO.

The Business Driven PMO comes from Mark Price Perry – he wrote about it first of all back in 2009 in his popular book with the same title – Business Driven PMO Setup: Practical Insights, Techniques and Case Examples for Ensuring Success

Mark came over to the UK earlier in the year for the PMO Conference where he provided the opening keynote – the message was all about putting the horse before the cart when it comes to PMO set up. Take a look at a brief part of the keynote where he talks about the usual journey a PMO set up and ongoing management takes.

Mark’s position has always been that the PMO really gives value to an organisation when the whole reason for it being there has been determined by the business. In this session he also talks about how a PMO Mandate – which has been created and agreed by senior executives – is really the only starting point you can work from.

He also talks about the PMO having the right approaches to be able to gain consensus from each senior executive – before creating a full consensus that everyone agrees with.

From this point, the PMO Manager starts creating a PMO Business Plan in order to meet the requirements and the benefits as outlined in the PMO Mandate.

Everything flows from the Mandate – it’s the only way the PMO can really guarantee that they’re on the right lines to providing what the business actually wants.

And yes, the Mandate is going to change over time so the PMO has to make sure they revisit it often enough with the senior executives to keep steering it in the right direction. It’s simple – perhaps you’re reading this and thinking it’s too simple, that it doesn’t take into account “this” or “that”.

But does it need to be anymore complicated than this – the initial step? We often hear talk about gaining “buy-in” from senior executives for the PMO, why do we keep saying this? Why don’t the senior executives state what they want – the PMO delivers it and the “buy-in” statement will fade away into PMO history?

The other side we often hear is that senior executives just don’t get PMO, or even project management – so how on earth are they going to come to a consensus on a PMO Mandate? So isn’t it this we should be working on to change rather than going ahead and as Mark says start delivering “People, Process, Tools and Training!”

So what do you think?

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