Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Which Type of a PMO?

Sometimes its frustrating when most people wont understand the scope of the PMO of their organization and its authorities and limitations. having a PMO in your company doesn’t mean that each and every problem of your organization should be routed to your PMO. .. Its very important to have a clear understanding of your organizations PMO. What type of a PMO you have?. Their objectives, responsibilities and authorities.

Analyze and See what type of a PMO you have.

Categorization based on Competency; ( Based on the PMO categorization Article by John Alley, University of Technology Services.)

  • project office
  • basic PMO
  • standard PMO
  • advanced PMO
  • centre of excellence

you can see what type of service your PMO does, or willing to do /Suppose to do. Based on that, the PMO budgets, the seniority levels of resources, responsibilities, authorities and everything changes.

The difference between a Project Office and Project Management office is that, the Project office delivers Projects within approved budgets and required quality. But Project Management office always look for consistency, and improvements of methodologies, Frameworks you practice, consistent templates, etc.

A Standard PMO establishes capability and support infrastructure while advanced PMO applies the PM capabilities to achieve business objectives. So you need a very senior level manager in your organization as the head of PMO in such level.

There is a Top category called Center of Excellence., If you have a Project Management office in this nature, they will be defining and aligning business goals with your project goals., make strategic moves with regard to your projects and business.

As I mentioned in one of my previous PMO related posts, you may not be able to setup a center for excellence at once in your organization. You may start with Project office and then improve on that based on the opportunities you have.

Recently I had a chat with a CEO of a SL IT company who had the idea that setting up a PMO is just wasting company resources. But when I asked him why he has very high PM turnover, I found out one reason., PMs do everything for everybody, But there is nobody who can listen to PMs , mentor them., get them on one specific goal., keep them focused. so I told him that he needs some sort of Central management of his Projects.

PMO is not such a magical thing., By knowing or not knowing, we have been practicing PMO concepts in our organizations. I can think back to see what I have been doing 2, 3 years before when I was a Software Development Manager. Though the designation is different, I was responsible for all the projects running in that organization. I had PMs reporting to me., Most of the time I had to give some guidance to them. There was a good central control of the Projects. So now I know I have been performing a virtual PMO as the Software Development Manager. But I didn’t know about it. So nobody needs to be sacred of the word PMO.. Its not an extra overhead to the company if you implement it right with right objectives and right plan.

Then the next question he asked me was that, they use Agile methods such as extreme Project Management and it might clash with PMO setup? My answer is NO., Because your PMs can use agile methods (infact I have fallen in love with them :))., But you should maintain some consistent between your project management tasks., If I take an example from an offshore software company like ours., there are different types of Projects, some customers insist on Prince2, Some project managers need to practice Agile methods due to the nature of projects ( if they have direct interactions with customers - very rarely though)., some are well defined just for the PMBOK way of management. This is very complicated and its challenging. But no matter which methodology we practice, we need a core, to understand the project issues, management issues, mentor PMs , assign them for right project so on. You can generalize your PMO templates to match all the types of PM methodologies you practice., Though you have daily standup meetings or you have once a week formal project reviews, you need status reports. You need to document important decisions. So try to generalize the templates as much as possible but its always understood that some PMs carry different stuff as user stories reports and so on based on the methodologies they practice.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Have I said too much....?


Oops I think I have miscommunicated something.. Mea Culpa!!! I just listened to the PMpodcast latest show and it talks about some communication I had with the host of the podcast show regarding the blog bann.. I think I have miscommunicated something to the host of the show and Im extremely sorry about that.

I just tried to see where I can put a comment /an explanation on the podcast show., But I couldn’t find any place to post comments.. So Here it goes in my blog…

Cornelius,Thank you so much for your concerns.. But anyhow I think I have miscommunicated to you about Banning Blogs in SL. Actually what happens is that the “Banning” things is becoming a fashion in SEA . India has already banned Bloging and I hear many news on that.


There is no threat as yet in Sri Lanka( besides there are many rumors on that),But it might happen soon in SL as well., lately they have thought of restricting all most all the media activities such as Hollywood movies, Foreign programs, Advertising Imported Milk powder, watching TV after 10PM .. List goes on…..

I think "Blog bann" sounds very weird. I find many blogs in internet which are really good resources., Blogs keep people connecting and I have got so much potential in the industry due to my PM blog., So I can imagine about others.. I have a good friend called Dinesh who writes good MS SQL blog which is referred by the whole world.

So I wish that will not happen in SL .

It's hard to understand how the current Indian government ban on Blogspot, Typepad, Geocities, and other major web domains can possibly be justified as an anti-terrorism strategy. Apparently some people involved with banned groups like SIMI have been using blogs to communicate, and the government has instructed the nation's ISPs to ban those sites, which host thousands of Indian blogs"

About the New podcast site now, It looks very nice and neat. And Thanks for listing my blog in Helpful resources. Waiting for many interesting interviews in the future.

Guys have a look at it … www.thepmpodcast.com

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Number worth a thousand words...


Today, I found a very interesting Project Management blog., ( Thanks to Cornelius’s Helpful Resources listed at www.thepmpodcast.com )I think its worth to write few lines about it.

This is all about working with Numbers in Project Management. We always talk about Technical PM skills, Soft skills required by PMs, Different Methodologies, EVM calculations.. so on.. But this author talks about Project Management and according to him its all about numbers… Its interesting and I hope you will not regret for visiting his blog

Project by Numbers - by Bas de Baar


Monday, July 17, 2006


There is another certification introduced by PMI. That’s for Program Management
( Multiple Project Management)

What that says is the program manager should have advanced skills in finance, cross-cultural awareness, leadership, communication, influence, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Any way these are essential skills for any Project Manager. Having responsibility of multiple project means more planning and aligning project goals with business goals. BTW its something interesting to look forward to…..

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I wish if I could see them....


This is nothing related to Project Management again.. But something which interest me so much….may be more than Project Management….

There has been a UFO sight in Sri Lanka again closer to Horana town. I have no idea whether it’s a truth or not but some national TV channel has shown a recording yesterday night and they have had some interviews with people who have seen the UFO.

Too bad I missed the whole thing., :( What a Looser I am :(

but my friends who watched news said that it cant be a lie as those villagers are not so crazy people like us who always dream about ETs. Some people have seen 2 feet long gold color unusual 2 persons and they have said that they were just like small children..... Can you believe that ???

Im searching more information on this ..

Today I told about this UFO news to my colleague Gogula who believes that god is an alien being….. He was so enthusiastic about the UFO arrival and wanted to throw a welcome party for them …. This is what he told me through skype…:)

“We have to start a campaign to welcome our space brothers

And we need a lot of people for this...

We need costumes first

We need fluorescent lights handheld ones

We should also make a sort of a dance and chant so that are space brothers know that we're a re friendly

and that we're welcoming them...

But everything needs careful planning (hmm.. At last I have a part too.. :-))

We should also make a sort of a dance and chant so that are space brothers know that we're a re friendly :D

Otherwise they'll think we're hostile and may attack us

We should have some recruits who will be willing to face experiments

We could have a new breed of alien-humans

We could have the best of both

We could conquer new and unexplored frontiers

And we could be free. Our space-brothers will teach us about peace and harmony

We do not need race, country and all that….

There are people who will agree

Who will unite

We shall be bearers of peace and love...

This guy is a half crazy Alien… :)

--- Another ET Sight in Sri Lanka on 30th July 2006--------

One of the residents, Nissanka Ranadeva had covered a few spots in the sand in front of his house with aluminium pots and pans. By torchlight, he lifted these utensils to reveal odd-looking footprints in the sand. The footprint showed clearly that whatever these creatures were, they had three toes and heels. There were over eight or nine such prints on the sandy garden. We got the impression that constant viewing and the passing of three days since the initial sighting had wiped away most of the prints.
The first to see the three strange creatures were an elderly lady and her grandchildren. They stay close to the Sarvodaya centre. “It was about five or six in the evening of the 23rd. There is a three way junction near our house, surrounded by shrub jungle. My grandson, Ujitha Tharanga and my granddaughter Udeshika Madhushani and I were walking towards our house. Ujitha suddenly shouted ‘Look, Achchi, three people are looking at us.’ I couldn’t see much. My eyesight is quite weak. And we were quite far away,” R.M. Seelawathi explains her encounter.
Madhushani saw things a little more clearly. She is a 12th year student at the Thanamalwila National College. “We saw three mysterious people. I have never seen people like that. All three were very short. The one in the middle was slightly taller than the others. They stared at us for a while and then they ran into the forest,” she said.
Her brother Ujitha claims they disappeared altogether suddenly. He described the three little men. The description was fairly stereotypical, although in a single aspect, the image did not fit with your common or garden E.T. The villagers saw big, glowing eyes and large heads on the dwarf men, but he also described them as black skinned.
At 6 a.m. the next day, three young women in the area, Merani, Sagarika and Rasika saw the same three creatures on the banks of a small stream, a tributary of the Kirindi Oya that flows through the little forest reserve. The stream borders the Thanamalwila town on one side and the Sarvodaya camp on the other. The three village girls headed down to the stream for a bath and were midway through it when they spotted three small men staring at them from about 100 metres away on the river bank. As before, the creatures had run away the moment they realised they had been spotted. The three girls were not available for comment. But we made our way towards the spot where they claimed to have seen the ‘aliens.’ Like in Nissanka’s garden, there were footprints along the river bank, identical to those we had previously seen.

for more details visit ...http://www.nation.lk/2006/07/30/eyefea1.htm

Monday, July 03, 2006

Scrum - Agile Project Management


Have you ever tried Agile method of Managing Projects? What do you think of that? In my environment we have very rare opertunities in such methods. We won’t get customers who work with us so closely for projects. But I think its a very practical aproach. If you are lucky enough to have a chance to try out... do so., ( But it can be very messy if you dont do it right..or if you dont have right people.... Handle it with care....

Lately I did a little study on Scrum method of managing projects., hmmm.. Personally I feel it put some additional weight on Project Management due to daily progress monitoring with team meetings and deliverable management due to multiple releases. But it sounds very practical.

“Scrum is an agile method for project management. It has been documented to dramatically improve productivity[citation needed] in teams previously paralyzed by heavier methodologies. Scrum was first documented by Takeuchi and Nonaka in "The New New Product Development Game"”

Scrum is defined for Software Development projects., But I it can be mapped for any other projects such as Maintenance management etc.

Some important aspects of Scrum are as follows,

• Customer must become a part of the development team. (i.e. He is genuinely interested in the output).
• Frequent intermediate deliveries with a working functionality is a MUST.
• Frequent mitigation and risk plans have to be developed by the DEVELOPMENT TEAM.
• Daily status discussion with the team is a MUST.
• Things to include in the daily discussion are:
o What did you do from yesterday?
o What are you planning to do tomorrow?
o Do you have any problems?
• Transparency is a MUST in planning and different modules.
• If a feature has a problem, no delivery shall take place.
• A frequent stakeholder meeting, to see the progress, is a MUST.
• No problems are buried under the carpet. No one is penalized for a problem.
• Energized workplace and working hours is a MUST. "More number of hours" does not mean more "output."

Listen to the interview
http://www.controllingchaos.com/?p=31 (A certified Scrum Master and PMP Certified Project Manager, discussing Scrum, an Agile project methodology primarily used for software application development projects.)

Other Reference

PROJECTIZED. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com