Former IT PMO program manager, Ron Rigores, shared his thoughts on the concept of getting a PMO to work successfully for an organization. This is based on how well it worked for the New York City Housing Authority NYCHA. The following take away points can be adopted by other project managers:
1. The importance of executive sponsorship
- The senior leadership team assessed the entire process, and there was a tremendous amount of support from the executive level.
- The executive team helped shepherd the IT governance process and project management. This allowed them to operate as a virtual organization.
- Rigores was able to spend more time mentoring and coaching project managers, rather than having to police these managers to ascertain where they were in their project, and whether or not they had completed their deliverables to the project on time. Not having to engage in such a task, gave Rigores the opportunity to focus on developing project management skills within the housing authority.
2. The role NYCHA’s PMO played in partnering with the business
It takes a lot of effort to get people to see the value in what the PMO offers. Rigores believes that a lot of it has to do with what has evolved over time, and although it can be painful the rewards are great.
- The project managers did not report to the PMO. They went through the business side.
- The team had some level of accountability as they were implementing and supporting the technology policies for the business, and as a result they developed a partnership.
3. Risk mitigation best practices
- The best approach is from a risk mitigation perspective.
- Your objective is to help them be successful. Assisting them to be successful means assisting them to mitigate risk, helping them escalate risk and getting risk mitigated.
4. Metrics used to evaluate the success of the NYCHA IT PMO.
- Rigores believes that when you are using a PMO program on a critical project and you are helping them become successful, they see the value. The success causes them to become more open to what else is involved in the methodology. When this happens they begin to ask what else they need to do to move to the next step. It becomes more of a open relationship, and they are more willing to ask questions, structure a project and put some organization behind it. These are the metrics that Rigores used to evaluate the overall success.
- If it is implemented, and the people see and realize the value, then they are going to come back because you used the methodology to help them be successful.