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


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:[1]

"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.[2]

"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."[3]

"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:[4]

"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 on."

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.[5] But to start with, the authors point out:[6]

  • 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 PgMO.

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.[7] 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.[8] 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

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.[9]


1. Taylor, 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.
4. Ibid.
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
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