Does Having a Project Management Office Really Matter?
A project management office (PMO) has become an integral part of most high level IT service organizations. Project managers at these types of companies lead projects of various sizes and complexity to completion by managing internal and external resources to accomplish the project goals. Even though project management has been around for a long time as a discipline and has become widely adopted in almost every industry, the question still surfaces from time to time if a project manager is really necessary.
Full disclosure, I used to be a project manager and worked as one for about 12 years before moving to more senior management roles. Now, as a senior manager, I wouldn’t lead a services organization without a PMO. With that being said, here are 3 valuable reasons why having project managers matter.
Reason #1: They are experts in getting stuff done.
Most project managers make a career out of getting things done. Their whole purpose in life is to drive a project to successful completion. OK, that may be a slight overstatement, but that is essentially what they do. They are hardwired to drive things to completion. Project managers knock down barriers and resolve issues. They hold the stakeholders accountable and move things forward. Nothing gives a project manager more satisfaction than a happy client and a successfully completed project.
Reason #2: They are good communicators.
A good project manager better be good at communicating. For the most part, they are better at communicating than engineers. Engineers usually want to fix things and be left alone while they do it. Maybe a bit of a stereotype, but if the shoe fits… Using the project manager for those key project communications that need to be clear and concise will go a long way to making a client happy. A good project manager should know how to communicate with each type of stakeholder. This expertise will prove invaluable during the course of a project.
Reason #3: Things run smoother with a project manager.
I could quote all kinds of statistics to demonstrate the value of having a project manager when it comes to a project running smoothly. But I think a real-life anecdote of a recent project that was run without a project manager might illustrate my point a little better. A recent project has gone awry due to a lack of understanding of what “done” looks like for the client and some serious scope creep. The requirements are being redefined at the end of the project because they were never properly defined at the beginning. The project is way over budget, the client is upset, and management has had to spend a lot of time regrouping. All of this would have been avoided with a good project manager engaged with the project from the beginning.
Project managers make an appreciable difference in the success of a project. They get stuff done. They communicate well and projects just run smoother with them. The next time someone asks if project managers matter, answer them with a definitive YES!
Jeremy joined ABS in 2013 as a Project Manager with over 20 years experience as an information systems technician, electronic technician and project manager. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Management of Information Systems in 2003 from Saint Leo University and earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Old Dominion University in 2005. Jeremy started his time at ABS as a certified Project Manager.