Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo

Microservices Expo: Article

Love to Hate - Agile and Project Management Office - Unlikely Partners?

PMO which is Agile or Agile governed by a PMO?

Agile Project and The Agile PMO

The first time I keynoted about the Agile PMO I received the following question: ‘do you mean that the PMO is in itself managed in an Agile way, or do you mean that the PMO governs projects which are managed in an Agile approach?'

Good question!

As a smart consultant my immediate answer was: ‘it depends'. Which in the consultant lexicon means: I need to think it through.

Initially, writing my book about the Agile PMO - on Amazon, I referred to a PMO which is managed in an Agile way. The PMO focuses on value and delivery rather than on process and tools. This makes sense, since recurring research has been showing that PMOs become a financial burden instead of value creators. In the book I demonstrate how a PMO can change and be Agile, following the steps below:

  • Focusing on value is central to the implementation and management of a PMO;
  • Value to the organization is created by completing projects and rolling out products;
  • PMOs support value creation through decision-making from a portfolio management perspective;
  • Projects that are beneficial to the portfolio and the organization are streamlined, while projects that are not beneficial to the portfolio and the organization are staggered or canceled;
  • The portfolio resource pool provides the leading constraint to overall value creation, as project completion in most scenarios is impacted by resource availability.

This steps are relevant for a PMO which in itself is Agile.

What about a PMO in an Agile organization? Is there a place for a project management office in Agile managed organization?

I was discussing it recently with a colleague from Spotify - which is an Agile born organization. Spotify has managed to retain its Agile disposition while growing to over 1500 employees. I think there is a well defined role for a PMO in an Agile organization. It is different compared with our common visualization of a PMO, mostly because many PMOs out there are dysfunctional. Since they focus on form rather than on substance we find it difficult to couple them with Agile delivery.

Hence, a PMO in an Agile organization would be very different than the roles we typically assign a PMO. An Agile PMO - a PMO who governs projects which are run in an Agile approach would:

  • Continually search for better ways to deliver high quality products;
  • Constantly reduce unnecessary red tape;
  • Question process steps which are superfluous;
  • Embrace change and in itself be a change agent;
  • Increase clarity of portfolio projects and enable fact based decision making;

One of the more complex concepts to understand of Agile product life cycles is that the lifecycle itself is adaptive based on the changing needs of the performing organization. Only an Agile PMO can create such an adaptive meta-process.

So the answer is actually both - an Agile PMO is a PMO which in itself is Agile and which governs projects in an Agile organization.

Michael is the author of the Agile PMO - on Amazon: Leading the Effective, Value Driven, Project Management Office. He authored 8 bestsellers on Agile, leadership, team building and more.

Agile PMO Amazon Michael Nir

Latest Stories
As people view cloud as a preferred option to build IT systems, the size of the cloud-based system is getting bigger and more complex. As the system gets bigger, more people need to collaborate from design to management. As more people collaborate to create a bigger system, the need for a systematic approach to automate the process is required. Just as in software, cloud now needs DevOps. In this session, the audience can see how people can solve this issue with a visual model. Visual models ha...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., will introduce you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He will explore applications in several industries and discuss technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, will discuss some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he’ll go over some of the best practices for structured team migrat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...