Book review: The Agile PMO

PMO Cover_1This week, Michael Nir, sent me his new short eBook The Agile PMO, Leading the Effective, Value Driven, Project Management Office.

It’s available on amazon.com as a Kindle eBook ($6.04)

The eBook gives you a short insight into Michael’s experience you could use when you have to set-up a PMO.

The 32 pages are divided into three sections. In the first section you got three examples of PMO failures. For the case of simplicity he keeps them separately but in reality it will probably be a combination. He describes the tactical PMO, the methodology PMO and the project manager PMO. All three PMO’s will be disbanded once funds are depleted and the fact that they are not adding value to the organization.

The next section uses a case study to discuss common misdirection of value based PMO’s. What will happen if you try to have the whole cake and implement it with a big bang. The next one is about thinking in tools. You first have to get a common understanding concerning methodology and processes or what I am always saying it has to be clear for all involved, it has to be between the ears before you can start talking about tools. The third scenario is the Obstacle creating PMO. If your PMO creates barriers, e.g. due to the chosen methodology, for proper project management, i twill not be beneficial to your organization.

The last section will give you some best practices in creating a value driven PMO. It uses Kotter’s eight phases for change leadership to construct and maintain a value adding PMO. A next chapter helps you to define what value is and what value do projects contribute to organizations. For me this is a chapter about proper portfolio management. The last chapter is about the agile PMO – delivering value incrementally. Deliver only what is necessary at the appropriate time. To explain this scenario Michael uses the same case as mentioned before.

The title is a little bit confusing. On the one hand there is The Agile PMO by Jennifer Stapleton (see related blog post) and on the other hand it is not a PMO to support Agile driven projects. I would say that Michael wants to show us that you have to implement a PMO as an evolution. Start with the areas with the greatest needs, which add the most value to the organization and evolve to reflect the needs, opportunities and lessons learned.

But this doesn’t mean this little eBook isn’t worth the money. If you are at the starting point of designing or implementing a PMO it’s definitely worthwhile reading and take these lessons into account.

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