Nov 9, 2009

The PMO: The University Within?

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Project Management Office (PMO) | 2 Comments

Continuing to crunch through the raw data from our Value of Project Management statistics, a coincidence struck me: across the board, the top-performing companies are training more intensively, and doing more training in non-technical subjects, than are the companies whose performance data falls in the lowest quartile in the study.

This jives with Frank Toney's observation, in one of the first books we published, that as a project manager moves up the ladder organizationally, he or she relies less on technical skills and more and more heavily on facilitative and business skills. (The very skills our PM College's new mastery-level "people skills" courses are designed to instill.)

It also reflects the reality, uncovered in our State of the PMO research, that PMOs are moving up the organization to the enterprise level, by the hundreds, and taking on new and expanded roles as they gain esteem and responsibility. One of those roles involves the professional development of project managers and other project resources. The top performers in the Value study do the majority of their training on site, providing project management development that dovetails with their industry, organizational culture, and business objectives ... and which focuses on advanced topics rather than on the nuts and bolts.

Here's a prediction: in our next round of research, we'll see even more enterprise-level PMOs, and even more PMO-based professional development. After all, who knows better than the PMO staff how to train project resources?

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2 Comments on The PMO: The University Within?

Debbie Bigelow Crawford says:

I’m not totally sure I agree with your prediction!  I know with PM College we deal more directly with the PMO Directors than with the Learning and Development or HR Departments!  However, I DO believe that project management training and the incorporation of “soft skills” training for project managment staff is now getting more attention from HR & L&D departments. In the past, we only received requests from PMO Directors or staff.  This is changing as the profession evolves. Our last 3-4 contracts have been executed by HR and/or L&D.  I think this is a good shift because it integrates ALL training for employees.  Another shift is toward Mentoring.  Now, this is still very much requested by the PMO Directors…and is still very much an effective way to train!

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin says:

Maybe it’s the HR departments that are evolving!

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

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