Project Management Office

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The case

Project Context: AtekPC founded in 1984, has grown to become a mid-sized U.S PC maker, with 2100 employees, $1.9m revenues in 2006. With the transition of PC industry from a growth market to that of a maturing market, AtekPC was experiencing tremendous cost pressure and changing management urgency. In order to positioning the organization for the future, John Strider, CIO for AtekPC, had strong convictions that the PMO-light model1was the way to go.

PMO issues involved at AtekPC included defining the PMO's purpose, mission, structure and governance. The most challenging was how to successfully implement it in what appeared to be a resistant culture. John Strider believed that PMO had to become a part of AtekPC culture. The best way would be moving slowly, cautiously with small changes over a long period of time so as not to violate AteckPC’s culture.

Mission: Establish a PMO and to prove its value and make stakeholders realize the benefits derived from consistent project practices. The specific duties of a PMO are typically divided into two categories as the following: •Project-focused responsibilities included: Consulting, mentoring, and training services that enabled the success of individual projects2 •Enterprise-oriented responsibilities included: PM standards, methods, tools and project performance archives that might improve all projects.3 •

1 POM-light model refers:” All projects operated outside of the PMO under existing organization controls, and the ownership of projects resided within the functional area and IT group charged with execution of the project.” 2 Professor F. Warren McFarlan, Professor Mark Deil of Georgia State University and John Hupp prepared this case The AtekPC Project Management Office. HBS No: 9-308-049. October 11.2007 pp5 3 Ibid

PMO at AtekPC
The purpose and objective of a PMO has been addressed in PMBOK. As said, “PMO is an organizational body or entity assigned various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain. The responsibility of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to actually being responsible for the direct management of a project1.”

A primary function of a PMO is to support project managers in a variety of ways2:
•Managing shared resources across all projects administered by the PMO Identifying and developing project management methodology, best practices, and standards •Coaching, mentoring, training and oversight

•Monitoring compliance with project management standards, policies, procedures, and templates via project audits •Developing and managing project policies, procedures, templates, and other shared documentation •Coordinating communication across project

In order to understand these concepts, models, functions, success factors and how to implementation PMO’s strategies, it is necessary to follow Paul. Astiz “IT PMO sets up steps.”1 Learn it by going through AtekPC case while measuring its maturity level via Harold L. Sirkin’s2 DICE Scores. Refer to the following table:

Key considerations Description AtekPC Case Examples Project Phase & DICE Scores3 PMO Charter •Business needs
•Mission
•Goals
•Service Offering
•PMO Governance
•Key Performance Metrics There was not a complete consensus regarding its purpose, responsibilities and authority. The immediate goal was to establish the PMO to prove its value in order to reach an agreement on its mission and charter. Initiating

Duration (D): Project review was not in place.
D=2
Culture Change Check the level of resistance to change:
•PM maturity level
•Existing skill level
•Key driver implementation strategy
•Change management (Assess impact of change.) Implementing standard methodology was a challenge, because it went against the organizational culture. Many people believed that PMO would inevitably get in the way of doing real work. The resistance level was high. Planning...
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