Are PMOs killing the role of the project manager?

With the Future PMO Conference coming up in London, I think it is worth considering just how far the role of the PMO should go.  I have been involved in the PMO competency development work with the Flashmob team and at times it concerned me that we were in danger of defining the PMO as a monster which inappropriately seizes responsibilities from the project manager.

As Collin Ellis, remarked in his great article on Agile PMOs “The fact of the matter is, if you need a central ‘unit’ to tell a project manager to follow a process to build a plan to deliver a project, then you’ve already failed.”

The PMO must be an empowering influence in the project community, not a disempowering one.  Earlier this year Richard Hendrickse talked on “Developing PMO Servant Leaders”.  Surely this is the style and culture that the PMO must seize if project management and project managers are to remain relevant in our organisations?

Requiem for the Project Manager

The business case? Not my job… the business does that.

Requirements? Not my job… the business analyst does that.

The communications plan? Not my job… the communications manager does that.

Business reporting? Not my job…the programme manager does that.

Stakeholder engagement? Not my job… the change manager does that.

Status updates? Not my job…the PMO does that.

Project documentation? Not my job… the project administrator does that.

Quality assurance? Not my job… the test manager does that.

Workshops lead? Not my job… the facilitator does that.

Risk plans? Not my job… the risk manager does that.

Team management?

Not my job… the line manager does that.

Resource allocation? Not my job… the portfolio manager does that.

Procurement? Not my job… the procurement manager does that.

Leadership? Not my job … the sponsor does that.

The Project Manager, 2584BC- 2018AD RIP


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