Posted by: kerrywills | December 15, 2017

Lightweight PMOs

In the more “agile” world of today it seems that a hefty program management office (PMO) is a thing of the past. A few years ago when running large programs I would have a PMO with a dedicated person for each function (finance, resources, reporting, risks, vendors/contracts, schedule, etc).  I now have a nine figure portfolio and am running it with a four person PMO (two of which are rotational resources out of college). We still manage the same functions listed previously but do it in a much more efficient manner.  As I speak to some of my counterparts they seem to be doing the same thing.

So this leads me to think – are we more mature in our PMO processes and therefore need less people or is the concept of a “lightweight PMO” becoming the expectation? Even in an agile model there is still the need to report on progress, risks, milestones, and status so I don’t think that the function goes away. In fact I think an agile model requires more diligence to manage the many moving parts which is where tools and automation come in. So I do think that a PMO is still a critical function to aggregate information, provide transparency, connect the dots and facilitate the governance of the work.

So I am curious what others think about the current state of PMOs and their future.


  1. I have found that simplifying the process makes it easier for everyone and people are more amenable to using it.

  2. I feel PMO s are changing. Originally the focus was more on process, tools and templates = training people to understand project work. Today the focus is migrating for project selection and resource/demand management as project management and IT work becomes more mainstream than in the past.

  3. […] Kerry Wills observes a possible trend, toward “lightweight” PMO’s. Just a minute or so to read. […]

  4. […] You can view the full post here: […]

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