We've all seen the fight between Agile and Waterfall evangelists on the web. The traditionalists opt for Waterfall and the new age is favoring Agile. Certainly there seems to be a shift to Agile these days, but who really runs a full Agile shop? What I wonder though, does it even matter? What is really at the core of Project Management best practice? Does using Agile principles make you a better PM than following a Waterfall methodology?
How about Project Management software? Does it matter if you are in the MS Project corner vs Planview or Clarity? Perhaps you rely on JIRA or Asana? Maybe LiquidPlanner or Wrike? There are literally hundreds of software solutions for Project Managers to use. Will using one over the other make you a better PM?
Some common problems we see across organizations are:
1) Not knowing which projects to work
2) Not enough resources to work projects and sustaining work
3) Not enough funding to work the projects leadership has requested
Sound familiar? Most likely, your organization doesn't have a mature Project Portfolio Management process in place. Many organizations hire some Project Managers, maybe even a Manager or Director to run a PMO (Project Management Office), but the required processes are missing. A failed or missing Project Portfolio Management process is a major contributor to the death of the PMO.
It's time for a change in how we approach the PMO in Corporate America. In another post I commented on Why we need a PMO, and now I'll discuss why the PMO we need is drastically different than the one we are used to.
Year after year we see the results of professional studies indicating PMOs fail with a lifespan lasting only 2-3 years. We also see that projects fail to meet objectives 40%-60% of the time. For those of us who have been in this space for awhile we aren't surprised by these results. Heck, I've lived the life of a PMO Director caught up in the PMO revolving door.
So what are we doing about it? From my perspective we really aren't doing too much. The industry events I attend and colleagues I talk with all seem to be doing what we've always done. Except, This time we're going to do it better. This time the company is going to get it. This time my client will be more receptive. Hogwash, I say!!