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4 Ways to Tell if Your PMO Processes are Broken

pmo project delivery project management project success Oct 19, 2023
4 Ways to Tell if Your PMO Processes are Broken

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Some may also call it lazy, but whatever you call it, it is a tremendous waste of time. Here’s how it works. At your weekly PMO staff / status meeting, you ask, “What’s the latest with our project portfolio?” and are met with “This project is late” or “There was a misunderstanding about what we were building on that project” or “This didn’t work as we expected on both of these projects.” 

You then say, “OK, well, let’s get these things fixed first and then we can start on new work.” 

See the problem? The week starts by focusing on things that are broken and need to be fixed, rather than focusing on activity that brings real value to your company. 

Your PMO processes need help! 

4 Ways to Tell if Your PMO Processes are Broken 

How can you tell if your PMO processes are broken? Consider the following four signs: 

  1. Projects Come from Everywhere and Anywhere - A new project just arrived in your inbox, or a new project was just created in a meeting you attended, or an executive just initiated a new project as he passed you in the hall. Is it possible to keep up with all these different ways that a project can be started? No, it isn’t! You need to make sure there’s a single and consistent intake process to start (or stop) projects in your organization. 
  2. Deliverables Pile Up - You hear “OK. We’ll get started on this right way. We didn’t know it was ready for our department to start working on.” What?? You find that a deliverable has been sitting there for days or even weeks! Work that is just sitting there and not moving forward (when it could have been) will make even the calmest project manager blow their top. You need to make sure there’s a process in place that signals the next group when it’s their turn to move work forward. 
  3. People are Surprised - Another sign that processes are broken is the opposite of deliverables piling up, but rather, where people don’t know there is work to be done and are taken by surprise when notified of a due date. As a result, the reaction is, “There’s no way this will happen this month! With our backlog, the soonest is going to be 45 days from now.” You need to make sure there’s a process that informs everyone in the critical path of work in the pipeline, and to plan for it. 
  4. There’s No Accountability - Finally, at the center of many broken processes is the confusion between who is responsible, and who is accountable, for work being done. “Oh, I thought that was your responsibility” is countered with “No, two other people were assigned this same task and I thought they were doing it.” You need to make sure a single person is accountable in your process. HINT: Multiple people can be responsible, but only one person can be accountable. 

If any of these signs sound familiar, The PMO Squad can help with broken processes. Our PMO, Project Management, and Agile Consulting Services will help you successfully deliver on strategic initiatives, rescue derailed projects, and implement and improve your agile delivery capabilities. Contact us today for a complementary discovery session and make sure words like “insanity” and “lazy” are eliminated from everyone’s vocabulary! 

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