Why do PMO’s Grow Old?

Date Published 07/07/2021
Author Derek Strachan
Category Consulting

Your PMO is best-in-class, the team are high achieving professionals, they command respect and help drive both organisational excellence and the company strategy.

So how come more and more projects are ‘non-compliant’? Why are decisions being made about projects and programmes that do not follow the process? Why are projects turning up to project gates without the correct information, or not even turning up?

It is easy to look at the delivery community and argue that they are remiss or that management needs to be stronger, which may be the case. But a good PMO needs to check their own house regularly before reprimanding others.

The best PMO with the best people will not remain so without constant self-assessment and change.

There can be many reasons why a PMO can lose effectiveness:

  • Organisations Change – Structural reorganisation, business expansion or new business.

  • Delivery Methods Change – The broad adoption of agile methods and systems is a prime example.

  • Team Members Change – Often, the people that had the original vision for the PMO move on.

  • Wider Staff Change – The pool of experts on the use of the process is diluted.

  • Market forces – Products that were once leading-edge become old fashioned.

  • Change of Scope – We may be asked to do things that are not what was designed.

It is not uncommon for one or more of these to happen and for a PMO to carry on with little or no change to their terms of reference. If this happens slowly over time, the PMO will cease to be relevant.

So how do we avoid this?

Firstly, know your scope, what is your PMO’s purpose:

What is the purpose of your PMO?

Are the terms of reference up to date and actually reflect the job being done? Next, actively review the delivery organisation:

Set up quarterly reviews with delivery teams,

  1. Conduct internal retrospectives on every process or governance meeting

  2. Actively encourage ideas from the delivery organisation

  3. Conduct lessons learned and post-project reviews

And finally, act upon your findings:

PMO Diagram


The CPS Consulting Mission is to enable your organisation to operate a thriving delivery environment by providing best-in-class Portfolio, Programme and Project Services.

We offer PMO Maturity and current state assessment services. For further information or assistance contact us today.

Find out more about CPS’ Consulting services

Find out more about CPS’ PMO Maturity services


Derek Strachan
Derek Strachan
Business Consulting Practice Lead

As head of the CPS Business Consultancy Practice, Derek is a Project, Portfolio and Programme management professional with over 30 years of experience. Among many other things, his work has helped hundreds of organisations rejuvenate their PMO, delivering greater efficiency, thereby increasing organisational return on investment

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