Author: Bill Dow

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The Balanced PMO – Moving Beyond The Iron Triangle

From the beginning of time project managers have had three main focus areas in their PMO that have been the staples of how we deliver projects: Scope, Schedule, and Budget. Those three main focus areas are in the DNA of every project manager. When a project manager is assigned a project, they focus on those critical items from the very beginning and throughout the life of the project. Today, those items are still necessary, and key conversation areas we continue to have with our executives. However, that is going to change. Sorry, I mean, that has to change! Long...

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PMO Staffing Models

Many PMO Managers struggle with understanding what resources they need in their organization. Some PMO managers fill their orgs with contractors only, some with all employees, some actually use both. It is most common for PMO managers to use both, basically following what most companies do across the organization.

Well, this is a pretty common question I get asked and I often point people to my PMO book “The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO”. But, I am not going to do that today, I am going to pull some of the secrets from the book on PMO Staffing.

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The PMO Assessment / Inventory – The 10 step Process

Over the last fifteen plus years, I have been heavily involved in PMOs in my capacity of building and running them, authoring books, giving presentations, or speaking on the topic. The first thing I do before I start building or running a PMO is to perform a “PMO Inventory.” Remember, this is an inventory, not an Assessment. Assessments tend to be around scoring different components of the PMO, and right now, that is not what I think you should be doing. Your focus should be more on what does the PMO have and not have compared to assigning a...

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Project Management – A Path to Success

I have been in project management for the last 26 years and one of the questions I get asked all the time is “How do I get started in project management?”. That question, I believe, is rooted in a couple different areas and I would like to think that it is around how one becomes a good project manager. Now the term “good” is relative, right? Someone’s good, is someone else’s great while it is another person’s terrible. I don’t want to debate that, I want to focus on what is important and that is the 12 things you...

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Communication Tools – Virtual Team Members

I often get asked about working with virtual teams and communicating project information around the world. This is often one of the hardest parts of a project manager’s job and one that I have helped project managers with for years. Here are a common set of communication tools that I feel are critical to use on all projects, and especially with your virtual team members: 1. Project RACI – Critical for project team members to know exactly what they are assigned to on the project. 2. Gantt Chart / Project Schedule – Again, this is a critical tool where...

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Are Project Managers A Dime A Dozen

I heard a quote the other day that really shocked me, and it would shock anybody in the project management industry. I was talking to a coworker about the job market and he said, “you know project managers are a dime a dozen.” When I heard that, my mouth dropped. I started to have doubts about project managers and how can anybody say that they are a dime a dozen. Then, I started thinking maybe he was right – maybe project managers really are a dime a dozen? If project managers fall into that category, I wondered: does having...

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Planning Your Communication Tools – Who, What, Where, ETC

When Bruce Taylor and I wrote the Project Management Communications Bible back in 2008, one of the key parts of that book, that really never got the love it deserved was the planning sections for each of the tools. Let me explain, in the book when we first introduce the communication tool (say project charter), we thought project managers could go through a series of planning questions around that tool that would help them understand how to use it better. Those questions included, Who, When, Why, How, What, etc. There were 10 questions noted for every tool. Let’s relook...

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“P” in PMO = People

There is no shortage of publications on PMOs. Be it a book, a tweet, a blog, an article, a whitepaper, the breadth on this topic is amazing. Despite this wealth of information, there has always seemed to be a gap in depth on both the tactical approach to building a PMO and the topic of the people in a PMO. I wrote one of the first and only step by step books for building a PMO called “The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO.” I live and breathe PMOs, they are my passion and I love leading and building...

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How to Shutdown a PMO – The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO

Over the last several months, I have been asked several times to give my presentation “How to Build a PMO” based on my 2012 book “The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO”. That’s been great and people have really enjoyed the presentation and have had some amazing take-aways’ that they could implement. But, for as many presentations I give about building a PMO, I am also starting to get asked about shutting down a PMO. So, I thought it was time to address those steps. If you are in the position to have to shut down your PMO, the...

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