PMO AntiPatterns

An AntiPattern is a literary form that describes a commonly occurring solution to a problem that generates decidedly negative consequences. 

Last few weeks I have reflected around some patterns that we have around us. And really they are AntiPatterns, recurring bad recipes to recover from earlier bad decisions. Here are some of my favourites.

AntiPattern #1: assign contractors to key roles in prioritised projects when business owners don’t have time

So this is a really bad idea: if a project is important, the right people need to be engaged. If they won’t engage then either it’s not important or we try to do too much at the same time. Review the portfolio!

AntiPattern #2: close unfinished project when money’s spent and handover to other teams

So this one can be ok if the main benefits have been achieved and there are optional ideas left. However, if benefits are not achieved what’s left to do is not an option but rather needs to be handled in expedite lanes. Don’t do it!

AntiPattern #3: assign a “task force” to correct mistakes from forced solutions

AntiPattern #3 is often a consequence of AntiPattern #1. Not having the right business owners engaged often results in a bad solution. What happens here is that finally we just need to put the right people together to clean-up. Have them there from the start instead!

Meta-AntiPattern: don’t ask why or learn when PMO antiPatterns are recognised

Finally, it’s one thing that these AntiPatterns will happen. If it happens once it may be an exception. But if it happens again: find out why and learn and improve the process.

2 thoughts on “PMO AntiPatterns

  1. The Enterprise and Getting Things Done – The Agile PMO

  2. From Push to Pull, Lesson 2: Ownership – The Agile PMO

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