This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Advanced Project Portfolio Management and the PMO: Multiplying ROI at Warp Speed

Advanced Project Portfolio Management and the PMO: Multiplying ROI at Warp Speed by Kendall and Rollins, 2003.

Read this book! This textbook does an excellent job of putting together the ideas of the Theory of Constraints and demonstrating how they apply to building a project management office (PMO) and to strategic planning in general. The authors clearly articulate the problems of traditional approaches and how their approach solves these problems in a way that will lead to success. Many of the chapters include case studies to highlight how organizations have implemented the ideas.

Why don't more companies do this? The concepts are not new. Kendall wrote his highly-regarded Securing the Future: Strategies for Exponential Growth Using the Theory of Constraints in 1997, and many of the ideas within the present book expand upon the earlier book. The authors claim that companies do not approach project management strategically -- new projects are tossed on top of old without regard for whether they are the "right" ones or if the organization has the capacity to do the project. Most companies are run too many projects, many of which will not benefit the bottom line anyway.

The book is loaded with juicy quotes, my favorite being a Native American saying, "A tree would never be so foolish as to let its branches fight with each other." Why do organizations design metrics that guarantee one part of the organization looks good to the detriment of another -- and to no positive effect on the overall organization?

The book is split into a number of sections. The first four chapters set the stage for creating a PMO "That Executives Embrace" as well as describing common pitfalls and the larger changes that organizations need to embrace to achieve real improvements. The next six chapters describe strategic planning, "The Number One Reason for Project Manager Stress," and how the concepts apply to building a high-functioning PMO. The third section describes the details of PMO functions in fourteen chapters, and the final section gives a summary of how to build a project management office.

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