Author Peter Taylor is not new to this site. Previously, in February 2012,
we reviewed his book: The
Lazy Project Manager. Having attracted the reader's attention by this startling
and unlikely book title, we found the contents of that book were anything but
a question of "laziness" as might be assumed by most readers at the beginning.
In any case, since then, he and co-author Ray Mead have been most diligent in
their pursuit of How to Design and Deliver the Best Project Management Office
for Your Business.
According to the authors:
"Delivering Successful PMOs is intended to be the companion book to Leading
Successful PMOs (Gower) by Peter Taylor. This was a guide to all project based
organizations providing a common language to describe the variety of possible
PMOs. It also explained how to do the right things, in the right way, in the right
order, with the right team, and identifying what made a good PMO leader."
But at the outset of their book, the authors provide a warning.
"The sheer scale of PMO implementation in the last 5 years has invariably
led to numerous botched attempts to deliver them. The authors themselves know
of several organizations who have abandoned the idea of implementing their PMO
or have even dismantled a PMO that has been running for several years."
"In each case there is one central theme: The PMO failed to deliver and/or
failed to demonstrate value."
And the authors go on to suggest that:
"The PMO, in the wrong hands, quickly develops a bit of an image problem. Project
managers end up seeing it as the 'project police' enforcing the use of standards,
forms and templates that add little value to the projects that they are working
This seems to us to be hardly surprising, if the corporate entity in question
is unable to establish a name that makes clear the purpose and function of this
organizational entity. That is, helping rather than hindering.
But happily, relief is on the way. The authors' Chapter 4 starts their
latest book on a very thorough and easy-to-follow journey towards designing and
succeeding in establishing a PgMO. But
to start with, the authors point out:
- Success needs to be planned up front.
- There must be a strong and clear business case.
- There must be clarity of the extent of investment required, as well as the
time required to plan, start-up, operate, and transfer the PgMO into the very
fabric of the organization.
- There must be strong sponsorship for the PgMO.
- You need a plan developed by someone who knows how to truly deliver a successful
And since the authors note that, at the time of writing, the availability of
such people are in short supply, they are only too willing to help.
About the authors
Peter Taylor is a dynamic professional who has achieved notable success
in Project Management. Over the past eight years he has been leading three PgMOs.
In the last three years he has focused on lecturing and writing, with over 200 presentations
around the world in over 25 countries and with new books that include: The
Project from Hell; Strategies for Project Sponsorship; and Leading Successful
PMOs. He is the author of two best-selling
books on 'Productive Laziness': The Lazy Winner and The Lazy Project
Manager. Now, he recently released yet another book: The Social Project
Manager. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ray Mead has a BA (Hons) in French, Spanish and Marketing from Southampton
University and studied his MBA at Surrey in partnership with Jiao tong University
in Beijing. He is the founder and CEO of p3m global, a specialist project, program
and portfolio management consultancy. Ray has 18 years of project management
experience gained across many different industries and in many different countries,
including extended or frequent stays in Spain, Germany, China, Australia and Saudi
Arabia. Prior to becoming involved in consultancy he worked as a project manager
in the telecommunications industry.
Peter, & Ray Mead, Delivering Successful PMOs, Gower Publishing Limited,
Surrey, UK, back cover.
2. Ibid, p11
3. While many shut downs may well be due to poor PgMO management,
nevertheless in difficult economic times financing becomes scarce, projects are
shelved, hence less need for a PgMO and since it is an overhead, it becomes the
first target to downsizing.
5. To avoid confusion with other meanings of "PMO", we have adopted
the label "PgMO" throughout this review. See further comment under Downside.
6. Ibid, p16 some relevant extracts from the ensuing text.
7. Ibid, back cover
8. Ibid, p xi p xii
9. Ibid, p xi