BALANCE THE SCALES
Abid Mustafa has worked with project management
offices for eight years. His book In the Age of Turbulence: How to Make Executive PMOs Successful is
available in paperback and on Kindle.
flag. The optimist might dismiss the missed milestone’s impact on the completion date and insist on
a green flag. By working together, they can meet in
the middle and agree on a compromise.
Hence, staffing PMO teams with a right mixture
of pessimists and optimists can greatly improve the
accuracy of reporting.
PURISTS AND PRAGMATISTS
The core function of most corporate PMOs is to
roll out a corporate project methodology. Usually, a team is required to accomplish this task.
However, this task will fall into jeopardy if the
team only consists of either methodology purists
Methodology purists concentrate most of their
efforts on building the ideal
project methodology. They pay
little attention to the corporate
environment or project culture.
Conversely, pragmatists focus
their energies on implementation
of the methodology and are willing to customize it to fit within
the corporate ecosystem.
For instance, the methodol-
ogy purists will insist that a set of
documents be filled in at each stage in the project
cycle. The pragmatists, on the other hand, realize
the burden this can place on project teams and
seek to keep documentation to a bare minimum.
By working in tandem, they increase the success
rate for the adoption of the project methodology
across the organization.
The next time you choose PMO staff, take care
to ensure your team possesses the right mix of
people to give the PMO a better chance at deliv-
ering value. Pick people who possess a range of
personality traits to ensure the successful rollout of
the project methodology. PM
Delivering real value to internal clients requires
getting the right team for your project manage-
ment office (PMO). Often, the recruitment focus
is on qualifications, work experience and whether
the candidate is the right fit for the company.
This approach is fine when focusing on individual
PMO specialists but falls short when a PMO must
perform as a team. There are two key areas where
striking the right team balance
A BALANCE OF HALF-FULL
Good executive reporting is about
presenting an accurate view of
the facts. This is easier said than
done. The crux of the matter is to
ensure the facts are not inflated
or understated. Getting this right
is extremely challenging for PMO teams and
means the PMO resources must possess the
People by their very nature are either pes-
Take a big-picture look at the
simists or optimists. A pessimistic person
might underplay positive elements,
whereas an optimistic person may
overplay them. Left to their own
devices, the reports are distorted.
However, if these team members are
tasked with preparing the executive
report together, the probability
of producing a balanced report
increases. This is because they
will challenge each other.
For example, the pessimist might see a missed
milestone as endangering the project and raise a red
yin and yang of your project
management office staff.
BY ABID MUSTAFA