In March, Gartner analysts Mbula Schoen and Michael Hanford outlined their recommendations for new PMOs in a detailed report, The PMO Leader’s First 100 Days.
Schoen and Hanford defined project management office, or PMO, as a function designed to facilitate and improve the management of projects through the application and use of PPM disciplines, such as project management and program management. The PMO also participates in business and IT governance activities by providing some degree of execution, analysis, and visibility into proposed and existing initiatives.
New PMO leaders must balance the need to build relationships, meet expectations, and gain acceptance and buy-in. The analysts suggested that they view target outcomes in terms of five phases that often overlap: Prepare, Assess, Plan, Act, and Measure.
Prepare Phase (Days −10 to 15)
As with any new strategic role, it helps to optimize your chances for success before you “officially” begin. “Prior to starting work, you must work with your (almost) new boss and major stakeholders to be sure you’re all on the same page regarding expectations and a shared view of what success is and what it will be,” said Schoen and Hanford. “Check, at a minimum, that the following are in place as you go forward.”
- A reporting relationship to an influential, well-positioned executive who embraces the value of the PMO. His/her authority and political connections are one of your major assets.
- A good understanding of the purpose of the PMO, ensuring it is aligned with organizational objectives. Many new PMO leaders wrongly assume their purpose is to institute tighter controls, often slowing down the system, when the actual purpose is to speed the system up.
- A set of expectations by those leaders who agreed to the need for a PMO. Determine that the PMO can (mostly) meet these expectations inside the current culture, its proposed organizational location, and the political climate and organizational maturity.
- A proposed level of staffing and resources that’s a realistic match to the expectations.
For more where this came from, head over to QuickBase's Fast Track blog.