Project managers are in for a comfy, fluffy ride as the project management office (PMO) meets the cloud. Anita Potgieter believes the cloud offers numerous advantages that will allow the PMO to grow in ways that were previously not possible. She counts them off in a post over at FOXitblogs.
Traditionally Difficult, but Clear Skies Ahead
In the current PMO model, there are a few concerns. Resources are mobile, getting those resources to complete their timesheets can be tricky, and using email to distribute documents can put stress on the email server while making it hard to actually compile everything being mailed around. The cloud offers solutions to these challenges in addition to many other benefits.
Chief among those benefits says Potgieter is a decrease in cost due to no upfront purchase of servers or licensing. Employees can also collaborate on project documents using, for instance, SharePoint functionality, which undercuts a couple old PMO problems at once. Project managers will not need to call around to get the latest updates because cloud services will be able to sort out and present that information readily. Potgieter only predicts one caveat to all these new benefits:
The only drawback I can foresee is that the age-old miscommunication problem will most likely still occur. Virtual teams could be prone to miscommunication when they lose direct interaction. This can derail a whole project, so it is good project governance to ensure that the typical face-to-face project meetings still take place, even if it’s bi-weekly or monthly.
All the centralization in the world cannot account for that human element, it seems. But for the reasons outlined here and several more in the blog post, it is apparent that project managers should be looking to the sky. You can read Potgieter’s blog post here: http://foxitblogs.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/virtual-project-management-office-how-will-cloud-services-influence-traditional-services/