Selecting The Pmo Project Manager

The person chosen for the role of project manager must be someone who has strong project management experience and is comfortable with the use of effective project management tools and techniques. It is also a good idea to have the project managed by someone who does not have a vested interest in the project beyond seeing the project completed. In that regard, the more objective the person managing the project can be when issues arise, the better. As the project moves forward, being able to maintain an objective view of the progress being made and the issues that are certain to come up is going to be of benefit to everyone involved in the project.

The issue of project scope creep is also tied to the objectivity of the person managing the project. When the project manager can focus on completing the project in accord with the original requirements, within the project deadlines, without undue concern for political issues, it will be difficult for scope creep to get started. That should not imply that changes or additions will not be allowed once a project begins. Sometimes, there is no choice but to address issues that either were overlooked in the development of the project specifications, or, because of business changes, have to be accommodated within the project. The issue here is that an objective project manager will be able to identify the "nice to have" project add-on requests and to deny those requests without fear of negative personal consequences at some later date.

The project manager must enjoy strong support from the project sponsor. If, after the project gets underway, problems arise between the project sponsor and the project manager, it may be in the best interest of the project to replace one of those individuals. Even with the use of a PMO, there is likely to be some level of project tension. Where tension is generated between the project sponsor and the project manager, the project is going to suffer. It will be better to recognize that the sponsor and the project manager do not make a good team and to correct that situation than to attempt to gloss over the problem.

Once the concept of the PMO has been approved and a project manager appointed, he or she should begin an analysis of the current project management environment within the organization. That analysis should consider the level of apparent project management sophistication within the organization. When considering the sophistication level, the word "apparent" is one to keep in mind. It may be that many good project tools and techniques are in place, but the question should be, "Are those tools and techniques being used in a consistent manner for the development of IT projects?" It does occur that IT organizations sometimes install the tools and techniques required to successfully manage projects and then fail to enforce the consistent use of those tools.

As an example, there may be a set of project management standards in place, but the issue to be resolved is the extent to which those standards are followed throughout the organization. Too often, unless project standards are tightly enforced within the IT department, they are going to be honored more in the breach than in practice. It is not unusual to find IT installations where a clear set of project management practices are in place but, because they are not well enforced, some projects may be developed using the practices and some may not. In some organizations, the project management standards are seen, not as being mandatory, but as a set of guidelines.

Where such a circumstance exists, there is a clear opportunity for the PMO to become a catalyst to move the organization toward an improved project management development environment. While taking on that responsibility may be beyond the defined purview of the role of the PMO, paying attention to the problem can bring added benefit to the organization. Where the project manager has the skill and experience to incorporate those improvements, it is in the best interest of the organization to take a bit of extra time to begin to improve the ways in which the organization manages IT projects.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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