Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trying to give a cat a pill

Today, I spent part of my day meeting my new colleagues, and the other half reviewing materials relating to the proposed business plan for the project management office (PMO).

The plan is over a year old, and as I read it, I felt that it did a good job of explaining why a PMO is necessary from a rational standpoint: efficiency, effectiveness, consistency... All the usual explanations for why a PMO is needed.

Here's an interesting statistic: over 50% of project management offices fail.

Part of the reason I think this is the case is that trying to convince people do use formalized project management methods is a lot like trying to get a cat to take a pill. The cat needs the pill, but doesn't want it.

Efficiency, effectiveness, consistency...stuff people need, but probably don't want - especially when confronted with a list of charters, plans, logs, and other project management templates that they "need" to complete.

They need (and want) to get their jobs done. They need (and want) to meet their performance expectations, to satisfy their supervisor/manager/director/board of directors, and have some sort of life outside work.

So let's start with a simpler reason why a project management office is useful.

You want to do great work. We're here to help you do that, while adding the least amount of management overhead and headaches necessary.

There is much more to it than this, but it's a start.

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