- The premise of "Advanced Project Portfolio Management and the PMO" is that project management is required for executives to execute their organizational strategy successfully. Without the right methodology, project life cycle timing and strategic value projects are disconnected from the strategic direction of the senior executive team. In this book, Gerald Kendall and Stephen Rollins provide their guidance and insight to implement a PMO that will deliver strategic value to your organization.
- I first met Gerald Kendall back in 2011 when I reached out to the Goldratt Institute and hired Gerald and Dee Jacobs to come to the law firm I work for and teach the IT leadership team the basic concepts of the theory of constraints. However, I learned about Gerald in 2007 after reading “The Advanced Project Portfolio Management and the PMO,” which I used the book guidance to assist me in the implementation of the planning and programs department for the legal firm that I worked for in 2008.
What I learned:
- To be effective, the PMO must be connected to the organization’s goals and identify strategic projects and programs that are aligned to the business’ strategy.
- It is important to keep the senior management team involved in the project portfolio by giving them visibility into the proposed and active projects. I realized that if we could accomplish projects and deliver them faster, we can allow the firm to meet its market goals and accomplish a competitive advantage while meeting its financial goals to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
- The PMO should optimize the firm’s assets by allowing the project management team to develop standardized estimating processes to enable better resource allocation and utilization.
- Bottlenecks must be identified to address throughput issues across the entire portfolio and governance environment and the PMO team should look for opportunities to streamline the project life cycle to reduce the operational impact of running projects.
- The book provides guidance for PMOs to develop regular training based on their project's life cycle to support the maturation of the organization’s project managers. PM should grow in their ability to write better business cases, manage vendor selection and contracting as well as to streamline the software development life cycle. Project managers should also increase the ability to better manage risks, track project status and metrics that are meaningful to the senior executive team.
- Here are a few questions that I gleaned from the book that helped me manage the PMO:
- What are the organization’s strategic objectives?
- What other projects are competing for resources that will keep the organization from accomplishing its strategic objectives?
- Do we have the right resources and do we have sufficient resources to complete the approved projects?
- What is the root cause of project issues?
- How do we do projects here?
- How can projects be completed more quickly?
- How do we get more projects done with the same resources?
- How do we achieve project execution predictability and reliability on time, on budget, and within scope while delighting our internal and external customers?
In summary, in the pages of "Advanced Project Portfolio Management and the PMO," Gerald Kendall and Stephen Rollins have provided us with an excellent resource for building, deploying and managing highly effective project management offices. If you're in the market for a book to provide guidance on how to build or improve your PMO, I would highly recommend you reading this book. There is also a supplemental document that goes along with the book that will assist you with examples and ideas to implement their recommendation.
What books have you used to guide you in the development of your organization's PMO?