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Top three considerations for #PMO  deployment best practice 

It all starts with good intentions; your good intentions to make a positive impact on the business, your good intentions to help the business become organised, and your good intentions to improve efficiencies and effectiveness. You’re thinking creatively, you’re excited about making positive changes and you’re full of optimistic energy. Yet with all these good intentions, your attempt to deploy a Project Management Office (PMO) is met with resistance from colleagues and fraught with difficulties in implementation. 


Corey Spagnoli, Senior director of Continuous Improvement PMO from NCR Corporation, a PMO veteran with 13 years’ experience, talks through three of his most problematic examples of PMO rollout in IT and Continuous Improvement environments, and the critical success factors involved. Corey talks us through his PMO deployment mistakes, demonstrates the pitfalls to avoid, and shows us how to overcome the difficulties, becoming one of our PMO rollout success stories.

Corey’s advice is to consider three key elements for a successful PMO rollout:

1). Understand the needs of the business

When implementing the PMO, be sure it’s right for the business. Take time to listen and properly assess the needs of the business as different PMOs can have different goals. Trying to implement too many processes at the same time is a common mistake – consider implementing just the critical needs first. Corey likens his first experiences of trying to implement too much, too soon as similar to “conducting an orchestra while on a speedboat, with each musician on their own speedboat, with everyone missing each other…” He advises a staged implementation, and having a clear roadmap of where you want to be and how you’re going to get there, perhaps deploying one feature or process at a time if appropriate. 

2). Match to the business culture

A frequent PMO deployment mistake is to try and force an organisation into operating in a way incongruous to the business culture. Understand what has been attempted in the past and if it failed, find out why. A business that’s never had any formal tracking or project organisation before will become resistant to your changes, regardless of how many PMO best practices you follow. Corey describes a situation where he had project managers spending too much time working on a tool and not enough time on the project, which ultimately hurt project delivery – the very metric he was trying to improve. Critical PMO rollout success factors in this case included the implementation of a PMO suitable to the business, and using a tool that could adapt to unique project teams; terminology, roles, system User Interface (UI), preferences, and bespoke personalisation, all of which helped to reduce cultural resistance. 

3). Build in flexibility

The final pillar to Corey’s PMO rollout success story is to ensure you build in flexibility to your programme. You may discover new uses for your PMO and its tools. Corey found his changes were met with resistance yet his PMO had the flexibility to back off and implement only the priority items and what was needed. Through forming a steering committee, Corey was able to develop a scorecard system, go through their portfolio of work and drop tasks or projects dependant on how important they were for the business. PMO deployment best practice requires a tool that allows on-the-fly changes, workflows/approvals, project delivery roadmaps, and financial models. Having a plan or project roadmap is critical, but planning for flexibility is a key success factor to PMO rollout.

Listen to Corey Spagnoli, Senior director of Continuous improvement PMO from NCR Corporation, discuss PMO deployment best practices based on his real world experiences rolling out PMOs in IT and Continuous Improvement environments. Following this informative session, Prasad Raje, VP of Product Strategy at Oracle Primavera discusses the benefits of using Instantis EnterpriseTrack in PMO and Enterprise PPM environments.
School of Hard Knocks Guide to Successful PMO Roll-Outs Presented by NCR. Available On-Demand Come hear from a veteran PMO leader about his real world experiences rolling out PMOs in IT and Continuous Improvement environments. Corey Spagnoli, Senior director of Continuous improvement PMO from ...
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4 Crucial Points About Today's PMO:
 *The introduction of a PMO is a significant organisational change – implementation will need to be carefully planned in alignment with your organisation’s culture.
 *Significant benefits can be realised through consistency and efficiency.
 *PMO has no universal definition, so the PMO function, role and service can only be defined by each individual organisation.
 *Projects embody change; so to must your PMO's structure as the needs and functions of your organisation evolves
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