This has to be one of the oldest and biggest PMO's ever. They've got managers on every floor, all the way to the top. (watch the video)

Never heard of a PMO? Here's a PMO wiki article with a good definition.

Is this building entirely occupied with project managers? We don't know, but it's interesting to speculate.


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"Basement to roof managers!"


In all seriousness, enjoy the cute little video, and scroll down for more.



Do you really need a Project Management Office (PMO)?

Probably not, unless your organization numbers in the thousands. Most lean organizations are operating with small groups and lightweight project management. Sometimes that management is little more than a daily stand-up meeting and scrum. You report what you did yesterday, what you plan to do today, and what impediments are slowing you down. Everybody goes round-robin, and the meeting ends. But you do it every day. That's about all the management some organizations need.

Here's an example of how a daily standup meeting might work.


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"Project management?"

"It's mostly control chaos here"


So what does a Project Management Office do?

They usually define how projects for the entire organization operate. In other words, make the rules that everybody follows. That structure defintely has value in large organizations. It means that projects always follow a familiar track. Employees jumping from one department to the next won't find a totally different project culture. You jump right into a familiar pattern.


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"I wish we had a common plan everybody followed"


PMO's sometimes define the project activities and tasks. But they are usually so distant from the actual work that it's hard to set any useful tasks unless the projects are repeated often, or are an integral part of everyday workflows. In those cases, it can be handy to have new projects laid out for you by somebody who knows the job well.


But can a PMO stifle creativity?

Yes... yes, it can, but not usually. New ideas and new blood and new competing ideas are certainly what keep organizations sharp. Let's say a new charasmatic new leader steps in, and doesn't want to follow the rules. What do you do then? There's a balance that should work for everyone. A few project structures shouldn't completely stifle creativity, unless your people want total anarchy. That's not usually the case, but sometimes it is.


The part-time PMO

Most organizations can get by with a part-time planner. If you start noticing problems while executing projects, consider defining a common plan that answers those questions. Once developed, everybody can follow them. And then you won't need any more planning until other issues arise.


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"We created three project templates"

"New projects follow one of these"

"Then we modify as needed"


Project templates

Consider creating one or more project templates that managers can duplicate. The entire project hierarchy, including the tasks will be duplicated. Now just assign users to the project and individual tasks, and you're done.


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"I'm the one-man in-house PMO"


If you've done that, then consider yourself the in-house PMO. Put that on your resume!



Window 1: I’ve added ten new project tasks in Standard Time®.

Window 2: I’ll assign them by skill. Engineers will start getting emails

Window 3: I got the tasks linked into the schedule

Window 4: Aghh! The resource allocations blew up!

Window 5: Three engineers are over allocated. No prob… fixed.

Window 6: Users are already entering hours into their timesheets!

Window 7: Ten new time logs from an iPhone and four Androids just showed up

Window 8: The new tasks must be sync’ing from the cloud already

Window 9: Stuff happens fast in the modern world!

Window 10: Yeah, like speed limits are already up to 6 mph!


Watch old-timey videos on YouTube








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