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
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, will explore the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences betwee...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Cole, Director of Solutions Engineering at Peak 10, will discuss how the newest technology advances are reducing the cost and complexity of traditional business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. Attendees will: Learn why having a full disaster recovery strategy is more important now than ever before Explore the key drivers of a successful disaster recovery solution Achieve measurable operational and business value from a disaster recovery ...
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the present state of cloud from the C-level view, and how great companies and rock star executives can use cloud computing to meet their most ambitious and disruptive business ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hanu Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Leveraging best-in-class people, processes, and technologies, Hanu provides high-quality, high-value software development and business process outsourcing services to independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprises.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...