Topics: Project management, Management, Project management software Pages: 17 (3469 words) Published: February 10, 2011
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This paper discusses the external affairs of Project Management Offices instead of focusing on the internals. The article was initiated by the "AtekPC Project Management Office" [1] , Most of the obstacles to establishing a PMO are beyond the CIO and PMO Manager's control. There are external factors within the enterprise that will hinder progress of a PMO implementation. We are going to take a PMO as a black box, and focus on how the PMO/Program Manager can manage external relations from diplomatic, marketing, public relations, international relations, corporate culture and political perspectives. This involves cooperation between the PMO and other entities in or outside the enterprise, to facilitate a successfully organizational integration. Introduction

By reading the case studies in the "AtekPC Project Management Office" [1], we see a lot of headaches for the CIO when implementation a PMO in the enterprise. Regardless of the technical challenges during the implementation, the core of the problems seems to be that the PMO is lacking organization support, from the top to the bottom. There is not enough executive stakeholder support; there is no visibility of the program; there is a conflict of interests within departments; people are reluctant to change the ways they have been doing things. This paper is going to provide some high level suggestions to improve external relations for the PMO.

Problems Identification
After an in depth study in [1], we can abstract out a few root causes of PMO implementation hindrance.
The PMO vision and role is not clearly defined. There is no complete consensus regarding its purpose, its responsibilities, and its authority. It has slowly evolved. Not enough executive stakeholder support. Not all of the senior executives were equally enthused about the PMO concept. Authority was primarily being developed bottom-up through the value of the PMO services. Even this was limited to those functional areas and IT areas actively engaging the PMO. There was no current plan to enforce usage at the enterprise level. Corporate culture limitation. Corporate cultural change had been informal. They never treated PM, PMO, formal processes seriously. Normal Operation Processes and function units have to change their culture, behaviour, and even habits if they work with a PMO. No support from department management. Department managers may see no value in introducing a PMO in their projects. Also there are political conflicts as well, with managers worrying about the PMO getting to much authority.

Hard to prove value before the PMO can get more support. This is a chicken and egg problem. The senior IT managers encouraged a slow, incremental strategy (baby steps) that would allow the PMO concept to prove itself with small victories won through mentoring one project at a time. While proving themselves, they may fail the challenges of addressing all the cultural limitations and barriers. The PMO had raised issues that had proven too controversial to resolve immediately. Strategies

Diplomatic perspective - How to approach and broaden Senior Executive Stakeholder support. y
Marketing perspective - How to convince people to buy something they have never used before
Public Relations perspective - How to let everyone know about the PMO in your enterprise. y
International /Global relations - How to leverage the PMO to co-ordinate activities outside the enterprise.
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