Most PMOs are seen as internal cost centers adding bureaucracy to projects. Projectized organizations usually run over 100-200 projects in parallel, all of them committed to finish on time, on budget, business goals and value delivery. Being prone to all kinds of problems and threats, demanding the best possible teams performance, projects are controversial since they change many people’s lives. However, when projects succeed, not much recognition is given to the PMO, despite their clear value contribution.

Many people think project management consists on organizing tasks and meetings, producing reports, etc. They think a project manager is just a coordinator, expeditor, or the one who is in charge of writing the project status reports. Analogously, they think the PMO should be devoted to controlling tasks, organizing meetings, and producing reports. They recognize they need a value driven PMO only when projects are not performing well, that is, when it is clear they are going to finish too late, with much cost overrun, and no value delivered. Maybe they need someone to blame?

The PMO Director cannot ensure an acceptable level of project success just by implementing processes or tools, no matter how big the PMO team is. Project teams would not improve performance just because they use some tools, follow some processes, or produce some documents. Neither business managers would improve decision making just because they read all project reports. PMOs which only enforce compliance cannot avoid being labeled as cost centers by the board of directors. When crises arrive, those PMOs are downsized, outsourced, or directly removed.

Reporting PMOs are downsized, outsourced, or removed. Projects go on, and nobody misses them 🙁

PMOs must deliver value. The only way for a PMO to get much more effective keeping the same resources is by distributing the management load to the project teams, applying the recognized agile value: “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. This is not implying all projects should be agile, neither all project managers should get PMP certified.

People can collaborate professionally and effectively on projects if they interact to check results on 8 performance domains and they talk a common basic professional language. If project teams get into the habit of reporting status periodically, true evidence of project work will be available not just for the PMO, but also for any stakeholder who may submit feedback, comments, or change requests.

Technology available right now allows stakeholders to access projects directly with their mobile phones. They can easily submit comments, feedback, or change requests on the whole project or a single work package. On the other hand, the project manager, or the project manager assistant, can publish performance evidence regularly by themselves, without much effort. No need for the PMO team to keep doing those inefficient, bureaucratic activities wasting time of the project manager, team members, stakeholders, etc. Nowadays, technology is good enough to distribute the management load effectively, so that the PMO can focus on strategy and value contribution.

In PMPeople we think technology should be intensively applied to professional project management. Business managers should know, just checking their mobile phones, if a single project has issues, before it is too late. PMPeople helps people collaborate on projects proactively, using different roles, only the necessary time, saving many meetings, reports and paper documents nobody will read. PMPeople helps people collaborate on project management professionally, in the cloud, using different roles. PMOs can distribute many management activities, having more time for anticipating problems and delivering value.

With PMPeople, the PMO can grow from being a cost center to lead the company in the Project Economy.

PMPeople is the tool for the project economy. It is aimed to unify professional project management by these differential points:

  • Designed by and for professional project managers, following professional project management standards.
  • Online productivity –less meetings, less documents, less workflows– through distributed collaboration among 12 specialized roles: Organization Owner, 6 roles on demand management and 5 roles on supply management.
  • Freemium product –unlimited time, unlimited users– usable via web and mobile application.

Start using PMPeople for free, for unlimited time and for any number of users. In premium organizations, only managers have a cost. Several roles –stakeholders, team members, sponsors and resource managers– are always free. You can increase or decrease your premium seats according to the organization actual needs. Premium organizations have access to our interactive support through Slack. Our servers are located in EU. This software can also be hosted on customer premises.

Read this article in Spanish.