Staying the PMO Course
ment office (PMO)
It has another goal as well, Ms. Honour says:
“become a world-class PMO.”
How did you go about creating the PMO?
We spent the first six months developing a
three-year plan. 2012 was the year of rationaliza-
tion. Prior to the creation of the PMO, the unit’s
project managers were decentralized across the
unit. We pulled all the project managers into
the PMO. And we came up with four key objec-
tives: First, establish portfolio transparency and
a single, independent view of project health.
Second, get the right people with the right skills
to do the right work. Third, develop common
Linda Honour uses one word: “huge.”
At Allstate, one of the largest insurance compa-
nies in North America, the technology and opera-
tions unit each year invests between US$350 million
and US$450 million in 2,400 initiatives. Project bud-
gets range from US$30,000 to US$30 million.
Yet despite its vast array of projects, the unit had
no central office to oversee them—until three years
ago, when the unit created a PMO and tapped Ms.
Honour to lead it. With about 450 team members,
the PMO aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of project delivery.