Written By Alex Blench, PMP, MSA

The May Governance Forum hosted PMI Fellow and Managing Partner of Norman & Normal Consulting, LLC Eric Norman for an engaging discussion about how to create lasting value in a PMO. Eric is a management consultant with 25 years of extensive governance and business process design experience.


Norman-EricThe traditional PMO frequently seems to be in a position to justify its own existence. During this forum, Eric examined why so many PMOs seem to dissolve after just a few years of operating and took a close look at the keys to adding value to an enterprise.


Eric highlighted that the perception of senior leaders and decision makers is that the state of their organization is much better than it really is. He challenged this dynamic by insisting that the PMO should play a key role in the decision-making process by providing key information.

The role of the PMO

In many organizations, the PMO executes on the vision and instructions delivered by key leaders – after tough decisions about the work of the organization have already been reached. This arrangement can give the perception that a PMO is simply filling a functional, operational ‘overhead’ role rather than providing true value-add to the organization. Eric contends that PMO leaders should be the resources called upon to provide the decision-support information necessary to execute the vision.

Three Vital Functions of the PMO:

  1. Decision Support
    a. Provide information to support planning, sensing, responding, and adapting
    b. Consult with leaders and determine “what they need to know”
  2. Demand Management
    a. Resource analysis, resource allocation, and initiative scaling
    b. Understanding capacity vs incoming demand
  3. Governance
    a. Initiative selection, approval denial, monitoring, and adjusting
    b. Set criteria that initiatives must meet before being approved

2 Keys to Success:

  1. Strategic vision
    a. The effective PMO must generate business value by becoming the supplier of critical information for decision makers that are aligned with organizational strategy and objectives
  2. Tactical execution
    a. Adaptable initiative management competencies that effectively control the outcomes of efforts.
    b. Ability to apply the right Project Management tools in the right situations 

Special thanks to our presenter Eric Norman for leading this engaging conversation and providing our guests with tools and wisdom to help create lasting value in their organizations.

If you would like to learn more about Governance and the value it brings to projects, please join us at a future forum. The calendar can be found on the PMI Atlanta web site at http://www.pmiatlanta.org

Thank you to our sponsors at Global Payments for making this event possible.


About PMI

Atlanta Chapter serves Project Management Community in Metro Atlanta, and we're an active resource to corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. With over 5,000 members, PMI Atlanta is among the top 5 chapters in the world. Our professional expertise span across industries; we’re the professionals building healthcare information technology systems, the engineers developing smarter public transportation, and the planners growing our communities more efficiently.