The PMOSIG Program Management Office Handbook

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Strategic and Tactical Insights for Improving ResultsEdited by Craig Letavec and Dennis Bolles (PMI Program Management Office Specific Interest Group’s Vice-Chairs)
Hardcover, 6 x 9, 464 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60427-044-0
November 2010

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The PMI® Program Management Office Specific Interest Group (PMOSIG), consistent with its vision to be the leading professional community providing innovation and thought leadership in the area of the PMO and related subjects, has created this book to achieve its mission to return direct value to the PMO community. This PMO handbook contains chapters submitted by more than 20 notable authors, subject matter experts, experienced practitioners, and thought leaders with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. These contributions provide insight into practices that successful PMOs have employed to return direct value to the organizations that they serve.

As an edited work, this book provides realistic strategies, methods, insights, and case examples to serve the needs of organizations, PMO practitioners, and the project management community as a whole worldwide. It features practical guidance on a variety of PMO-related topics in the areas of:

    • PMO governance—Covers roles in organizational governance, portfolio management, and organizational change management


    • PMO strategic and tactical aspects—Includes examples of how PMOs have participated in the strategic and tactical management as well as in the management of programs and projects to achieve business benefits


    • PMO services—Covers the development and management of governance policies and procedures, standards, methodologies and processes, education and training programs, tools and templates, PMO technical systems, and program manager, project manager and portfolio assignments


    • PMO setup and execution—Includes best practices and case studies for successfully aligning new PMOs with business objectives, delivering benefits and ROI, and managing and expanding the PMO’s scope of services


  • PMO performance and maturity—Describes the processes used to drive excellence that enhances the PMO’s long-term sustainability as a business function

Key Features

  • Provides practical strategies, methods, insights, case studies, and thought leadership to serve the needs of public and private sector organizations of any size
  • Presents best practices for successfully aligning PMOs to business strategies and objectives and for delivering planned benefits
  • Supplies project, program, and portfolio practitioners with numerous proven tools, techniques, and processes for successfully developing, managing, and sustaining a PMO and expanding its scope of services
  • WAV offers a collection of easy-to-adapt templates for PMO leaders, including resources to support, establish, and enhance the PMO — available from the Web Added ValueTMDownload Resource Center at

About the author(s)

Craig Letavec, MSP, IPMA-B, PMP, PgMP, has led large program efforts in a diverse range of global companies in a variety of industries including consumer products, new venture start-ups, information technology services, and information technology consulting. He has served as an active speaker and author on a range of topics, including program management, implementing effective change management, and establishing, managing, and building the value of the program management office (PMO) in organizations. He is the author of The Program Management Office, a noted text in the project management community specifically focused on PMO implementation and development as well as a co-author of Program Management Professional and is a contributor to 99 Things Every Project Manager Should Know.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!) and a Master of Science in Project Management from George Washington University. As an active teacher who enjoys educating future project and program managers and business professionals alike, he has served as an adjunct lecturer in project management in the Master of Business Administration program at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and as an adjunct instructor at the University of Dayton. Craig also serves as Vice-Chair of the global PMI PMOSIG and as general conference chair for the PMO Symposium, the largest focused international conference for PMO practitioners.

Dennis Bolles, PMP, has more than 40 years experience providing business and project management professional and PMO services. He has been a member of PMI since 1985 received his PMP® certification in 1986 (#81) and is a founder of the PMI Western Michigan Chapter, serving on its Board of Directors in several positions since its 1993 inception. He has been serving on the PMI PMOSIG Board of Directors as Vice Chair of Public Relations since June 2009.
Dennis is president of DLB Associates, whose primary focus is working with organizations to establish PMOs, formulate project business management processes, develop and enhance enterprise project management centers of excellence, create project management methodologies, and plan organizational project management training programs. He is the PMI Standards Project Manager who led the project core team to a successful completion and on-time delivery of the PMBOK® Guide, Third Edition in 2004. He is a published author of many project management articles, a Congress/Symposium/Chapter PDD speaker, the author of Building Project Management Centers of Excellence, and co-author of The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management.

Table of Contents

Section I: PMO Governance

Chapters 1-3 include roles in organizational governance, portfolio management, and organizational change management. 

Chapter 1: The PMO Role in Project Portfolio Governance 
Project Governance
Alignment with Organization Strategy
Project Management Methodology and Processes
Project Management Tools
Resource Management
Risk Management
Project Review
Management Reporting
Author Biography

Chapter 2: Program Types: Categorization and Its Benefits
Why Categorize? 
Enterprise Program Management Office
Author Biography

Chapter 3: The PMO as an Enabler for Large-Scale, Global Program Success
Case Study
PMO Tasks
Challenges Encountered
The Role of the PMO
PMO Success Factors
Author Biography

Section II: PMO Strategy & Tactics

Chapters 4-8 include examples of how PMOs have participated in the strategic and tactical management of programs and projects to achieve business benefits. 

Chapter 4: Stakeholder Relationship Management: Enhancing PMO Services Through Effective Engagement and Communication
What Is a PMO, Really? 
Understanding Stakeholders
How to Gauge Attitude
Analysis of Stakeholder 3 Example
Communication Planning
Effective Communication
Implementing Communication Plans
Review of the Stakeholder Engagement Profile
Monitoring Trends
Considerations for Stakeholder Relationship Management
Author Biography

Chapter 5: The PMO: Strategy Execution Office
Processes that Support Strategic Execution
The Evolution of an Effective Organizational Structure for Ending the Failures of Strategic Projects
Functions and Roles of the Strategic Project Office
Best Practices in Organizational Structure
Author Biography

Chapter 6: Partnership, Persuasion, and Politics
How Partnership is Traditionally Established
The Role of Partnership
Mortar and Bricks
Making Friends, Influencing People, and Avoiding Political Landmines
Persuasion Tactics
How Long Will This Take? 
Author Biography

Chapter 7: The PMO Revolution—The Strategic COE
PMO Challenges
Why PMOs? 
Overall Project Success Rates Have Dropped Recently . . . But Improved Long Term
Evolution or Revolution? 
Types of PMOs
COEs Differentiators
Next Steps: A Four-phase Approach to COE Implementation 
Author Biography 

Chapter 8: Restoring Sanity: A Practical Guide to Getting Your PMO on the Right Path
Answer These First 
Start Small and Be Patient 
Scenario One—The New PMO 
Scenario Two—The Struggling PMO 
Market Your Successes 
Own Your Failures 
Keep the Ball Rolling 
Author Biography 

Section III: PMO Strategy & Tactics

Chapters 9 and 10 include development and management of governance policies and procedures, standards, methodologies and processes, education and training programs, and tools and templates. Also covered are PMO technical systems, and program manager, project manager and portfolio manager assignments. 

Chapter 9: PMO Building Blocks—A Practical Approach for Implementing PMO Services 
PMO Building Blocks—The Concept 
Overview of Typical PMO Services 
Overview of PMO Organizational Structures 
Why Size, Color, and Sequence Do Not Matter 
Benefits of Using PMO Building Blocks 
Project Management Building Blocks 
Program Management Building Blocks 
Portfolio Management Building Blocks 
OPM—A Practical Framework for Success 
Branding the PMO 
PMO Leadership—The Glue That Holds It All Together 
Author Biographies 

Chapter 10: Creating and Proving PMO Value 
Approaches to PMO Justification 
Cultural Alignment 
Importance of Execution
Killers of PMO Value and Avoiding Them 
Author Biography 

Section IV: PMO Strategy & Tactics

Chapters 11-14 include best practices and case studies for successfully aligning new PMOs to business objectives, delivering benefits/ROI, and managing and expanding the PMO’s scope of services. 

Chapter 11: Ambassadors, Skits, and Little Blue Books 
Why Worry About Compliance Now? 
Background and Context 
Current State: Getting a Realistic Assessment 
Principles Used 
Project Leadership Council 
The Little Blue Book of Project Management 
Internal Certification Program 
Education Award 
PMO Branding 
Case Studies and Examples 
Training Delivery 
Model the Behavior You Want 
Assist in Gaining PMI® Certification 
Addressing Non-PMO Issues—Capitalization 
What if the Kinder, Gentler PMO Approach Does Not Work? 
Author Biography 

Chapter 12: Enhancing PMO Success from the Start 
PMO Charter 
Personalities and Attitudes 
PMO Models and Alignment 
Functions and Role Combinations 
Transaction-driven Recruitment 
Author Biography 

Chapter 13: How to Implement Project Management Methodologies in a Small Company 
The Challenges 
Strategies for Success 
Author Biography 

Chapter 14: Building a Ship at Sea: How to Set Up PMOs in the Dynamic Business Environments of Emerging Markets 
Project Definition 
The PMO Sponsor 
People in the PMO 
Organizational Culture and Existing Processes 
The PMO Definition
Stakeholder Analysis 
Problem Analysis 
Analysis of Objectives 
Case Study
Author Biography 

Section V: PMO Strategy & Tactics

Chapters 15-18 include key performance indicators and processes used to manage the identification, recording, and analysis of PMO data. Also covered are PMO maturity and driving excellence that enhances the PMO’s long-term sustainability as a business function. 

Chapter 15: Affording a PMO: An Approach to Establishing a PMO with Limited Resources 
Establish the PMO Approach 
Chartering the PMO 
Completing the PMO Charter 
Leading from Below 
The Stealth PMO 
Finding the Resources to Establish and Grow the PMO 
Tools, Techniques, and Process Assets 
Techniques and Process Assets 
Evolving the PMO 
Author Biography 

Chapter 16: Driving Your PMO in an Operations-driven Organization 
The Organizational Focus Challenge 
Types of Organizations 
Degrees of Executive Support
Phase 1—Establishing the New Project Management Office 
Phase 2—Expanding the Influence of the PMO 
Phase 3—Leading the PMO into the Future 
Author Biography 

Chapter 17: A Methodology Improvement Process to Advance a Corporate-Level PMO 
A Case Study 
Schedule Status Tracking 
Issues Reporting 
A Special Approach for Pending Scope Changes 
Reporting the Status of the Project Automatically into the PMIS 
Design Phase Summary 
Risk Coverage, Estimated Cost Impact, and Exposition 
Level of Attention: Preparing the Watch List for the Portfolio Risk Status Report 
Implementation Phase Summary: The New System at Work 
Author Biography 

Chapter 18: From Start to Flight Level: Implementing Project Portfolio Management at a Midsized Airline 
Description of the Project Landscape 
Start Level: From Starting to Establishing Project Management
Flight Preparation: Reasons for Implementing Project Portfolio Management
Takeoff: Initiating a PPM-implementation Project
Flight Level: Defined Project Portfolio Processes
Flight Check: Selection of Project Portfolio Management Criteria
Volplane: Current Situation of Project Portfolio Management
Landing: Summary
Author Biography 

Chapter 19: The PMO Maturity Cube: A Project Management Office Maturity Model 
The Operating Philosophy of a PMO 
Types and Functions of PMOs 
The Maturity of the PMO 
The PMO Maturity Cube
Author Biographies 

Epilogue: The Role of the PMO as a Portfolio Management Office 


“Written and edited by recognized experts and practitioners with years of experience creating and managing successful PMOs, this book is THE authoritative source on how to leverage PMOs not only to improve strategic and tactical business results, but more importantly to boost the bottom line.”
Hugh Woodward, PMP, PMI Fellow, Past PMI Chair

“I believe that this book is the most comprehensive source available for all things PMO, be it portfolio, program or project. I encourage everyone to read it and gain valuable knowledge and insights from the contributing authors.”
Iain Fraser, PMP, PMI Fellow, Fellow PMINZ, Past PMI Chair