PMO Failure-More Common Than You Think

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PMO Failure-More Common Than You Think
October 11, 2019

Project Management Office (PMO): Do you have one? Is it successful?

Surprisingly, many PMOs do not work as planned. While I hate to focus on the negative, it’s easier to make my point by showing why they fail as opposed to showing why only a very few succeed.

Top Reasons PMOs Fail:

  • >Analysts/Technicians don’t understand or appreciate the need for project management, so they don’t work in accordance with PMO Director
  • >The PMO is run by someone who loves project management—and they make it too complicated
  • >Either Governance Structure has never been established or the personnel don’t understand their role of approving and prioritizing
  • >The PMO Director attempts to police the workers, resulting in contention and eventual rebellion
  • >Proper management and tracking of resources prove too difficult, hampering morale right before project deadlines as workers become overburdened
  • >PM processes restrict workers so that they look for ways to circumvent parameters and cut corners
  • >The PMO Director might require PM certification, a lengthy and costly process that is overkill for the average team member
  • >The cost of a PMO Director, certifications, and software is high and oftentimes management will give up when they don’t see improvement

The Top Reason for PMO Failure

Does any of this sound familiar? Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning; I only mentioned the low-hanging fruit. If I were to put the single biggest reason for PMO failure into words, I’d say this: PMOs fail because the concept is dictated as a management tool and no one thinks to fill the workers in on its importance. The leader is ready and willing to lead, but the followers fail to see the point. Imagine if only the quarterback understood the significance of crossing the goal line. The other players would be busy working, but they wouldn’t be moving in unison with the quarterback, working toward a common goal. They might even resent him for constantly pushing them in HIS direction.

It is frustrating to see projects suffer, especially in times when hospitals are overburdened with the development of so many programs. As each one becomes delayed and fails to meet its objectives, the problem only worsens.

There Is Such a Simple Solution

You have to look at a PMO as three EQUALLY important pieces. First, your workers must understand and appreciate project management. Second, there must be an effective Governance Structure in place that recognizes the importance of approving and prioritizing these costly projects. Third, the PMO must employ simple tools and techniques to consistently track open projects at a high level.

Project Coaching/PMO Lite

Atlanticon has developed Project Coaching, which we sometimes jokingly refer to as PMO Lite. Project Coaching is an eight-hour session used to help hospitals learn about and implement our simple solutions.

It begins with focused education for leading hospital personnel who engage in projects regularly, discussing proven healthcare project methods so they can execute their projects with confidence. Next, we establish key tracking software and processes that can be learned in minutes—software that Atlanticon provides free of charge. We then outfit you with a set of tools and methods you will use with each project. Finally, we finish with a discussion on how to implement an IT Governance Structure that controls the influx and prioritization of projects.

This seems like a simplified list, but PMOs really need to be considered from this perspective. We schedule our sessions in two four-hour blocks so the attendees can stay focused.

Transforming Project Management

This is about transforming the way you look at projects—so our work is easy. The real commitment and success is up to you. We provide this service for small- to medium-sized hospitals and we are sensitive to your budget. Our pricing reflects that.

Contact us today at for current pricing and to schedule your session. Jump start a successful PMO using our knowledge and your commitment. Your team will never view projects the same way again!



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