The World of PMO according to Rudyard Kipling

The World of PMO according to Rudyard Kipling

‘Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you!’

If by Rudyard Kipling

Project Management is full of ‘IFFY’ bits – very bad play on the title of Kipling’s ‘If’ poem.  A basic purpose of a PMO is to reduce and minimise the number and impacts of a project’s ‘Iffy bits”; the uncertainties, the tentative, undecided, unsettled, unsure, unreliable, unresolved, dubious quality and perhaps even illegal bits, that are encountered in projects.

PMOs are also well versed in the meaning of Attribution Theory according to Project Managers:

  1. “If the Project was successful it was all down to me (the PM) and they (the PMO) were just lucky they had me running the project,” or
  2. If the project was a dud, “Well what would you expect working with that incompetent PMO.  I was just very unlucky to be stuck with them.  The stuff-ups were down to them, not me.”
Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling

Attribution theory, for any who may not have heard of it states that: (i) I am the cause of my success, and success in others is just luck, and, (ii) others cause their own failures, whereas my failures are just plain bad luck. You’ll find a lot of Attribution Theory around project.

In addition to the 2 traditional Administration and Support roles commonly provided by PMOs, however, today, PMOs can provide a much bigger scope viz: the PMI 9 Dominions of a PMO:

1. Standards, Methodologies and Processes

Methodology definition; metrics definition; process development and improvement

2. Project/Program Delivery Management

Define the business goals; resource management; schedule/cost/scope management; business realisation management; risk management; stakeholder management; communications; project integration

3. Portfolio Management

Prioritisation; strategic alignment; portfolio reporting; resource management allocation; opportunities and investment analysis; risk management; benefits realisation tracking/reporting

4. Talent Management

Training, career paths, career development, capability/skills development and certifications/qualifications/credentials

5. Governance and Performance Management

Performance reporting; issue escalation; information distribution; metrics/KPIs; compliance; financial management; PMO performance management

6. Organisational Change Management

Customer/stakeholder satisfaction; managing resistance; readiness assessment; stakeholder management; communications

7. Administration and Support

Tools (provisioning/implementation/support); consulting; IT/IS support

8. Knowledge Management

Defining knowledge management policies, managing intellectual collateral/property, lessons learned, content management and collaboration

9. Strategic Planning

Confirming strategic priorities; defining business goals and aligning to initiatives; environmental scanning; opportunity analysis.


“Who the heck was Rudyard Kipling?

“Ah! Him. He was the friend of all the World”

Last Updated on November 10, 2014 by