To PMO or not to PMO. Is that really the question?!


The strategy consultants have weaved their magic with the Executive Team and the Board to define an exciting new direction. This typically involves pulling a number of big strategic levers including downsizing, outsourcing, new market entry or old market exit and product reform just to name a few.

If you have participated in such an exercise you will know how intense that activity can be. BUT the heavy lifting of implementation is still before you.

At this point, many organisations take a breath and really lose momentum or try to proceed without expert implementation management help which causes them to fumble the ball.

It is only natural for this to occur. When your management skills and mindsets are geared to managing the business effectively you are unlikely to be tooled up for the transformation and will generally focus most attention to BAU leaving the strategy implementation to piecemeal activity.

That is why it is a no-brainer to deploy some form of PMO to drive, report and hold the implementation performance mirror up to the organisation. This is critical but the minimum standard stuff.

The most successful PMO’s add so much more:

  • An elegant balance of IQ/EQ to effectively navigate the inevitable tensions that will emerge.
  • Be behind the scenes to help struggling executives deal with their personal challenges of facing large-scale change with poise and confidence building leadership.
  • To free up the CEO to be the point of escalation rather than the facilitator of resolution.
  • To be the tough guy when necessary allowing the CEO and others to maintain their relationships.
  • To leave at the end of the assignment and take any “lingering resentment” with you leaving behind a “clean”, high functioning executive.

The question should not be whether to have a PMO for implementation but who is the right person to be the temporary PMO leader and “extra executive” with the attributes to hold us accountable in a constructive manner?

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