Project Management Office

Common Reasons for PMO Failure

Despite the promise that Project Management Offices (PMOs) offer at their inception, they fizzle and fail to deliver on that promise. They even fail to the point that they get dissolved. One of the common reasons for PMO failure is that there is a wide gap between what the PMO does and what the business expects. In this article at Project Smart, Allen Eskelin explains the reasons for PMO’s failure. Let’s get started.

Why PMOs Fail?

Inexperienced Project Managers

What works in one organization most likely won’t work in another, despite similarities on paper. If a project manager isn’t adaptable, then a PMO will fail. The project manager must understand pain points and analyze whether the culture of an organization supports the ability to develop a plan with achievable goals.

No Strategic Vision

Focusing on day-to-day project execution is excellent, but project managers must not lose sight of the strategic, bigger picture. If a project manager can’t articulate the business challenges faced by senior executives and help facilitate organizational change, PMO becomes less relevant.

Overburdening the Staff with Documentation

People drive project success. Technology must augment effectiveness rather than becoming an obstacle. Further, the processes must help the organization in communication and alignment enhancement. If PMO fails to empower the enterprise, the process is just more documentation on the already overburdened project managers.

Lack of a Metric-Based Approach

Unless a project manager has an analytical mindset and is thorough with metrics, a PMO won’t be successful. For instance, when deciding the number of projects that can be executed, decisions must not be made on assumptions. Without a metrics-based understanding of resource capacity, it is impossible to match demand with the actual supply of human resources.

PMO success is based on having a clear vision, strong leadership, a consistent approach to project management, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and robust risk management. These ingredients serve as the foundation for PMOs to deliver on their promises. To read more, click on

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