Archives December 2020


Is PMO really required?

The term “PMO” has a wider usage, I ‘ll be more specific here, the context of PMO is related to (Project/Program Management) Office. It’s a difficult question to read when I was working as a PMO. I was asked by business analysts/project managers, why do we need a PMO? What job you actually do? It was definitely frustrating and the answer I used to tell them was the word “value”. A PMO adds value to the project/program driven organization. It’s not easy to explain individuals the value a PMO brings, hence in this article will attempt to add the list of values, a PMO offers. The list may vary from organization to organization based on how the PMO function was set-up.

Before we move to the value/benefits, let’s understand about the PMO definition and objectives

Definition of a PMO –

A PMO is a function is an organization to drive the standardization of tools & processes for project/program delivery.

Objective of a PMO –

To provide transparency and visibility of projects/program by implementing Tools & Standards. PMO shares the single source of truth by sharing this information with senior management for them to take required action.

List of values/benefits of PMO

Divided the values/benefits into two categories – Strategic & Tactical

Strategic benefits of a PMO

  1. Standardization of tools and processes
  2. Transparency and Visibility
  3. Improved probability of successful outcomes
  4. Build confidence of Senior Management

Tactical benefits of a PMO

  1. Ad-hoc support to Senior Management
  2. Data collection and consolidation exercise
  3. Ensuring internal deadlines are met (part of the organization requirement)

Summarize –

At times, many fails to understand the strategic benefits offered by a PMO function. The reason is the role description is not clear and focus on tactical scope of work. If you are working as a PMO or aspiring to move towards a PMO journey, do understand the strategic benefits and analyze the strategic benefits which you/team has been offering. In case, you are more focused on tactical work, start thinking of being strategic and identify opportunities/initiatives in your organization for this purpose. If a PMO function exists in an organization, the foundation behind the set-up is to add value to the overall organization. You as an PMO are adding value on this journey. Next time, if anyone ask you this question “ Is PMO really required” – you know what to answer.

Accountability of a Scrum Master

An extremely common question what accountability does a Scrum Master has. Answer is not as simple, a Scrum Master being a servant leader do have to serve scrum team, product owner and the organization. Instead of generalizing the accountability of a Scrum Master, read the specific accountabilities which a Scrum Master has to play –

For the Scrum Team:

  • Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;
  • Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done;
  • Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress
  • Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.

For the Product Team:

  • Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;
  • Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment;
  • Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.

For the Organization:

  • Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;
  • Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization;
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an empirical approach for complex work;
  • Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams

Special Tip – Scrum Master is not a role but an accountability. In other words, anyone can take the accountability of a Scrum Master in Scrum.