Enterprises have undertaken transformation initiatives for decades, and there is a bevy of books, articles, white papers and consultants that tout how to ensure transformation success. One of the top best practices touted is to use a central Project Management Office (PMO) that takes responsibility for the transformation plan and holds the organization accountable for achieving it. It sounds like a great idea. The problem is it doesn’t work very well.
I’m not saying companies shouldn’t have PMOs. Project Management Offices are known for effectiveness in tracking outcomes, directing resources and investments for the project, documenting decisions and reporting. But they’re not known for orchestrating change. In fact, the track record of PMOs for successfully driving and achieving change in a complex transformation initiative is very low.