Running a successful Project Management Office (PMO) may seem simple enough. After all, with a good system and an experienced team, what more could one need? But bad project management can boil down to things that seem right on the surface, but could have extremely negative repercussions in the long-run.
Not knowing who is right for the job
Having the right people on point positions is key. Poor resourcing decisions can snowball into project delays and even failure. On the flip side, a good project manager will never allocate a task that someone is unequipped to handle. This will allow them to focus on the bigger picture and step away as the team takes charge of their individual tasks.
Expecting miracles from technology
Having a good process in place for project management is important. A bad project manager might feel his job ends at allocating tasks and setting up a system. After all, the system is built to trigger alarms for big deviations. Not so. The onus of managing these systems falls on the PMO. A successful project manager monitors for adherence and reviews milestones and data to take corrective action mid-course. This helps prevent bigger, potentially disastrous events getting triggered.
Having a Project Manager who micromanages
Sometimes, a wonderful person can also be a bad project manager. An attempt to help out team members and bail them out of tough spots can be detrimental to the cause. Individuals thrive on challenges and must cope with issues that crop up. This will help them with their professional growth, and by stepping in for them, you are denying them the chance to learn.
Being over ambitious
Taking on too many projects at one go can cripple a team’s ability to function efficiently. Add to that inflexibility and you’re guaranteed to fail. Good PMOs know never to agree to impossible time-lines and over ambitious projects.
Just as bad as being a yes-man, is being completely inflexible. A successful project manager will never close the door on change. As projects progress, risks change, influencing factors change and so too, should the project approach. Being adaptable is a virtue in project management offices.
Not communicating enough
Regular meetings and reviews are important. Without this, a project manager and his team operate in silos. When problems crop up, it takes inordinately long to spot and fix them. By being non-communicative, a project manager closes lines of communication both ways. Team members will hesitate to approach him for counsel or to own up to problems. It is important to keep all stakeholders in the loop and get buy-in from senior management. A successful PMO has everyone on the same page.