I note with interest this recent analytical release from Aspire Europe: http://aspireeurope.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/global-review-of-pmo-analysis-2013/
To paraphrase their key findings:
- ‘Only’ 9% of respondents use agile for more than half their projects
- A drop in training and development as part of budgets
- PMOs are being used at higher levels, and are better regarded
Naturally, Aspire put a positive interpretation on this. And one can see good cause to be pleased that PMOs are achieving their goals and presumably being approved of as a consequence.
I am as keen on PMOs as the next man. They give form to chaos, and most plans I see these days bear a healthy resemblance to the principles of good systems engineering.
However, I can’t help feeling that the phenomena highlighted are more indicative of risk averse and generally ‘feart’ behaviour.
Being a PMO is more than just processing serenely through a series of waypoints. The waypoints are how you can tell things are going right or wrong. they are not what is going right or wrong in and of themselves.
PMOs have to retain both flexibility and a long term view, playing their part in the larger organisation. This means to my mind that we should see more use of Agile (where appropriate to task), and consideration of the importance of training.