The Program Management Office

I was browsing the local Half Price Books and noticed a book titled “The Program Management Office: Establishing, Managing And Growing the Value of a PMO” by Craig J. Letavec.

Seeing as how I have an interest in Project Management, Program Management and PMO‘s…and I’d never seen this book before so I thought I’d pick it up and read it.

Not a bad book at all.  There is good advice for people at all levels of PMO experience.

The book seems to be targeted at people/organizations who are trying to build a PMO. There are some chapters targeted at managing the PMO once it’s been created, but you’ll have to wait till the end of the book to find them.

As mentioned, the majority of the book covers the creation of a PMO and what topics need to be considered while setting up your program/project office.   When considering the creation of a PMO, the author states that you should first consider your initial PMO “Model”.  In other words, how will your PMO be organized and managed?  Will the PMO be the central office for all project management functions…or will it be a project management knowledge center for the organization?  The author provides three PMO “models”: Consulting, Strong and Blended. These models are basic PMO models, but are effective when trying to determine how the PMO will fit into the organization. The book provides pros/cons of each model, how the models would fit into organizations and what processes and tools are needed to make these models work.

In addition to the three PMO models, the author provides a basic overview of the PMO as Project Standard Bearer and Knowledge Management Center.  The Knowledge Management Center was most interesting to me since this is the area that I believe organizations and PMO’s fail.  Many people have studied project management processes and standardized these processes…project governance is a field that many people have a good grasp on.  Knowledge management in the world of projects, on the other hand, is still fairly immature with lots of interesting topics to explore.

The book is a good one…if you have any interest in PMO’s, I’d recommend picking it up.