What It Takes to Succeed as Head of PMO –
Creating a PMO Part 4
Zdorovyak PMP, CLSBB, ITIL, CSM, BSCS, MSM
PMINJ Marketing/PR PM
This article is the fourth part in a series focused on What
It Takes to Succeed as Head of a Project Management Office
(PMO) based on the feedback of PMO Leaders and my own
experience. (See the November issue
issue for the last article about how others in their company
view the PMO.)
I am happy that my article coincides with our president
signing the PMIAA, described above, into law last month.
PMIAA will enhance accountability and best practices in
project and program management throughout the federal
government. The reforms outlined in the PMIAA are consistent
with the research that shows that organizations that invest
in program management talent and standards improve outcomes,
accountability and efficiency. The research also shows that
these best practices result in improved efficiency and less
money being wasted, government entities waste a whopping
$101 million for every $1 billion spent on projects or
programs. Most importantly, organizations will see more
projects delivering expected value to stakeholders on time
and within budget.
In order to have an effective PMO, it has to provide
strategic, tactical and operational value to the
organization. I have been overseeing PMOs for large
conglomerates: making sure $1.4 billion spent in
infrastructure and operation and corporate resources were
running smoothly to implementing $100 million in Business
Process Reengineering; to having 34 Business Divisions
reporting into the PMO; to creating a PMO from scratch. In
this article, you will learn what other PMO leaders and I
have to say about creating a PMO.
Before there was a PMO
- Project successes were thought to be miracles and
failures were opportunities to finger point and blame.
- Priorities were set based on the clout that a
particular executive had, based on politics, and not
necessarily on the best value for an organization.
Projects were chosen based on the executive that
screamed the loudest.
- An SME was given the added responsibility of getting
the project done without any guidance.
- There was no coordination of projects across the
- Processes, procedures and documents were created on
the fly, if at all.
- Problems encountered in the past were repeated because
they weren’t documented as learned lessons.
Definition of PMO
The PMO is defined by PMI’s Project Management Body of
Knowledge (PMBOK) as: "An organization structure that
standardizes the project-related governance processes and
facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools
In the next part of this series, we will receive advice from
seasoned PMO leaders. Stay tuned!
If you have a suggestion for a future topic or want to share
your own success story, then email Igor at