Pitfalls in creating an Enterprise Project Management Office

Often, we see an organisation create an enterprise project management office (EPMO) or project management office (EPO) as a result of an issue.

For example, a project has gone horribly wrong, management not knowing what is going on, resources being stretched and even sometimes seeing it as best practice.

The issue of establishing a EPMO is response to an incident can address the immediate issue but then what is next?  That is where EPMO can fail and start to constrain projects.  The issue has been addressed but the organisation over reacts.

At the start there can be a lot of activity including controls, processes, governance meetings, templates etc.

The EPMO level of control is higher than what is really needed based on the organisational culture and what is required to address the original issues.

Have you seen situation where project control increases in intensity and overhead, projects slow down so it eases off, then an issue occurs so increases again. The cycle continues until it is decided enough is enough.

Some of the root causes of this roller coaster ride are:

EPMO not reinventing itself when the issues have been addressed

Misalignment to culture

Not having the right governance tools in place

Over reacting

No clear vision, goals and objectives

Lack of meaningful metrics

We recommend two approaches

Firstly – find out if the original issues do require an EPMO to be established or really just need improved project management practices

Then if you do need an EPMO then what is the right level of control and governance?

The skill is in finding out this right level which may not be clear at first.  There are many factors to consider including:

· Alignment to your culture

· Understanding the root cause of the issue

· Ensuring that executive sponsors are fully committed to project management and the EPMO

· Defining what is the role of the EPMO

The role of the EPMO is critical as they normally play two and at times contradictory roles

· The umpire – to identify issues and assist to correct them

· The coach or mentor – to upskill project managers and the organisation

Do you need help with project management or with your EMPO?

· Our years of experience at Project Mentors can assist with both of these.

· Save time and money

· Align to culture

· Practical tips and tools

For a discussion on how we can help, please contact us via:

0487 410 772



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