Myths about PMO

Is PMO needed for your organization? The default answer is yes but if we discuss with various teams there are general myths about project management and PMO.

Myth #1: PMO is all about documentation

The bedrock of the project management is to have a set of defined processes for the organization. These processes should be aligned to the organisations’ goals and repeatable across projects. Therefore it is required to be documented. But documentation alone cannot ensure a project is well managed. PMO is not only the custodian of the processes (i.e. reading documentation).PMO has to monitor that these processes are regularly applied in projects ensuring a better outcome and eventually leading to customer satisfaction.

Myths about PMO
Image courtesy – KONAKART.COM


Myth #2: Execution is everything

Organisations and teams place a very high importance to project execution. This can become counter- productive if it lacks adequate planning and tracking. Under the pressure of execution the team may jump the project management activities and eventually land up into rework and loss of time. While project execution is key, it is imperative that proper planning and regular tracking ensures that the project is well guided and minimises overrun.

Project Management Process
Image courtesy – IO4PM.ORG

Myth #3: Risks can be managed when it appears

Risks are almost not visible unless they appear. So teams may choose to spend less or no time in risk review activities. However risks, as it always happens, comes as a surprise and teams who do not monitor them on a regular basis have to jump into a fire fighting mode. This can have a huge impact on the project and in some cases can lead to severe consequences, so while risks cannot be predicted but appropriate risk mitigation plan and regular reviews can lessen the impact. It’s rightly said, forewarned is forearmed.


Risk with Project Management
Image courtesy – MITRE.ORG


Myth #4: Project management is just PMO’s responsibility

The word PMO and project management sounds synonymous, right? And this is usually why its felt that project management is just PMO’s responsibility. In a project, while process is important, the team is the key. If we look at the successful project closely we can notice that it’s the team which made the difference. The team which owns the project management responsibility and do not see it as an obligation, cruises along the project timelines successfully.

Project Management Strategy
Image courtesy – PYCOMALL.COM

As a long term strategy, project management and PMO is instrumental in increasing the overall organisation performance. But this cannot remain in isolation and has to be owned by all the team members. In a successful organisation it is just not a department but a philosophy that everyone believes in.