Wednesday 30 June 2010


I was recently asked why so many programme and project managers regard PMOs as an unnecessary overhead.

Too many PMO staff, in my experience, seem to think that the main purpose of a programme/project is to produce management artefacts, e.g. Risk Logs, reports etc.

They lose sight of the fact that the PMO is there to help the project achieve success via efficient and effective governance processes.
I worked on one assignment recently where the PMO person allocated to the programme had no concept of what the programme was delivering - despite my best efforts to explain it and have her read the Business Case, Vision etc. - and was simply hell-bent on having the Risk Register updated on a fortnightly basis. It wouldn't have been so bad if she insisted that the risks were actually managed, but it was only the documentation she was interested in!
Once she was removed from the programme we delivered on time and to budget, and our governance satisfied successive OGC Gateway Reviews with no-one from the PMO assigned to the programme.
I've managed other programmes where PMO staff understand that they are there to add value and to help achieve the end-goal, and in those cases they have been a tremendous aid to the programme. It's all about people understanding why good governance matters.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

The Budget

All things considered, yesterday's budget seems to be a wise one to me.

It's a refreshing change to hear a long-term budget instead of one crafted to garner short-term support for the governing party.

Many of the things the Chancellor addressed are things most people have been aware of for years, but nothing has ever been done.

Hopefully now the public sector will reign in its spending on multi-national accountancy consultancies and taxpayers' money will be spent prudently. Other changes should stimulate the economy for everyone's benefit.

It's likely to be a rocky ride, but let's hang in there and hope for the best!

Thursday 17 June 2010

MSP Advanced Practitioner Exam

I'm sitting the MSP Advanced Practitioner Re-registration Exam today.

It doesn't seem like five years since I first attained the qualification, but in these hard times I think it's important to keep your core qualifications current.

The public sector in particular insists on freelance programme managers being MSP qualified, and it's also a useful addition to my Continuing Professional Development Log to maintain my standing within the Association for Project Managers (APM).

I'm confident the exam will go well; I've used MSP in practice solidly since before I qualified, so if I don't know about it by now I never will!