Execution Excellence

How to Build PMO Capabilities in Small-to-Medium IT Organizations

Process and structure should fit the size of the organization, regardless of other factors. If an IT department only consists of a few dozen people, there is no practical reason to build a full-blown IT PMO. But that does not mean that a smaller IT department cannot still benefit from PMO capabilities. In a post at Project Management for Today, Randy Weldon discusses how this can occur.

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Weldon was once CIO over an IT team of roughly 35 people at a pharmaceutical company. As CIO of an IT team that size, he essentially took on duties reminiscent of a PMO leader too. For instance, for the function of project prioritization, Weldon went to each major process area of the business to discuss their respective project priorities. He then combined the top priorities of each area into what became their “top 5” strategic programs, and anything not within this group typically did not receive funding. And then those that did receive funding were built a “minimum project planning package,” comprising numerous factors: project charter, scope diagram, approach diagram, summary work plan and schedule, detailed WBS, resource schedule, cost schedule, risk management plan, and the business case.

Weldon goes on to say this:

To help plan and manage resources to work on those projects, a Rough-Cut Capacity Plan must be created and updated by the CIO and/or one of his/her direct reports (remember, no PMO leader).  The supply of resources by skill level is relatively easy to document by person by month/quarter/year in a spreadsheet.  But the demand for those resources must be estimated by skill level across all major projects and other internal assignments.  These level-of-effort estimates should be reasonable, but are not required to be perfectly accurate.  Therefore, just enough analysis and planning must be performed by the CIO and leadership team for each major high-priority project to have a sense of the resources and timing required.

In such a scenario, the CIO and his or her team will then have to build their own “minimum project management standards,” analogous with the standards that would be established and enforced in a traditional PMO. So the core components of a PMO are all still there—but appropriately sized for the occasion.

For further thoughts, you can view the original post here: https://www.pmfortoday.com/build-dynamic-pmo/

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