OnPoint, LLC

Obstacles to Agility

The Program Management Office (PMO) function in most organizations was designed with two goals in mind: gain control over projects and improve project management processes. As organizations scale up Agile, these two goals begin to conflict because the controls can inhibit the improved (Agile) project management process. The controls were designed to support the waterfall method and need to be adapted to facilitate Agile. Following are three common PMO controls that will require adaptation.

  • PMO status reporting should be modified to focus on deliverables rather than activities
  • Phase gate reviews should be limited to the project definition or charter
  • Analysis and design documentations should be eliminated because they are normally not developed in Agile

These changes sound simple but they can be a difficult sales job unless the PMO manager is already an Agile proponent.

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