The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the authors.
US spelling generally adopted throughout. Published here August 2017

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Concluding Thought

Downside

According to the authors Introduction:[23]

"Delivering Successful PMOs is intended to be the companion book to Leading Successful PMOs (Gower) by Peter Taylor, which was a guide to all project based organizations. It provided a common language to describe the variety of possible PMOs, explaining how to do the right things, in the right way, in the right order ..."

Given the admonition to do things in the right order, one might reasonably expect the first order of business would have been to establish a unique name for "Program Management Office", now the subject of this book. But apparently, that was not to be. Indeed, the authors now explain that:[24]

"On paper, PMO stands for 'Project Management Office' Confusingly, PMO can also mean Program Management Office, again depending on its function."

After several paragraphs elaborating on this dilemma in their previous book, the authors summarized their position by stating:[25]

"That was a long explanation; in simpler, shorter terms a PMO was described as:

'Doing the right things, in the right way, in the right order, with the right team.' "

But why pussyfoot around this naming convention? Why not establish a suitable label for use throughout the whole of this book? Hopefully this would have become sufficiently well known to be entrenched worldwide. If nothing else, that would be of significant benefit to book sales. Our choice as a short-form for "Program Management Office" is PgMO, which we have adopted throughout this critique. This follows the style of reference for "Project Portfolio Management Office" that is steadily growing, i.e. "PPfMO".

Referring back to "Working Framework" shown in Figure 1 earlier, we are not clear why the sequence of work is displayed as a circle. That's considering that the outcome of this project is the transfer of the new organizational element to its new masters. Assuming the project to be successfully delivered, then why would it need to be repeated into another cycle? However, as noted earlier, the authors do recommend it be applied to the new projects for which this entity will be responsible.

Another thing that we noticed in particular is that the authors gave no indication to the potential reader about the applicability of an organization having a need for a PgMO in the first place. Surely that must be an organization with a sufficient number of projects and potential projects that are all competing for limited corporate financing and resources? If this is true, then it seems to us that the most likely organizations that have sufficient competing projects to justify a PgMO are those in the Information Technology sector.

So potential readers of this book should keep that focus in mind.

What We Liked  What We Liked

23. Ibid, p1
24. Ibid, p3
25. Ibid, p4
 
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