PMO Creation - Week 15

I'm the first to admit that my lack of bandwidth has stalled the efforts of my team. I am only able to steal myself away from my current project for a couple of hours every Wednesday morning to meet with my team and then show up at the Steering Committee meeting every Friday morning. That means Mike and Sarah and left with all the heavy lifting. As a result, the consolidated project plan they put together for this week's meeting, that looked pretty sparse on Wednesday, did not meet our CEO's satisfaction by Friday. Frankly we all looked pretty bad. I promised we would have a better one in place by next week and that I would meet with one of our teams to show what we wanted to accomplish.

That meeting was like pulling teeth. The team members were confused about what we were asking. Even though I had put the leader through my Cadence training a few years back, she couldn't seem to understand that by giving me hours of effort she still had to have a conversation with me to determine the durations. She was convinced that this was simply dependent on priority and didn't get that other tasks within her high priority projects and time spent on ongoing operations could affect these durations.

Another leader in this group expressed the opinion that all Project Management is useless. One of the lower level guys said that they just do a bunch of work whenever and pay no attention to priorities. The other two lower level women just smiled and nodded. It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that we are doing some things backwards. We really needed to train the employees in the methodology before trying to plan these projects.

Also we should have had a formal announcement from the CEO expressing his confidence in the PMO and the process we are following and get his authority to ask these questions. Mike has been good about bugging me to ask for this and we received a draft from the marketing group of an announcement. Here it is slightly redacted:


As you may know, Bruce Fieggen, QPharma’s longtime VP of Project Management, has agreed to take the helm of QPharma’s Project Management Office in addition to his client-facing duties. 

The QPharma Project Management Office, or PMO, is responsible for prioritizing, scheduling, resourcing, and managing the many internal projects necessary for the ongoing operation of our Commercial Services division — most notably, the development of Python™ and our other Information Technology systems.  It is crucial to the PMO’s success that all colleagues cooperate fully with PMO deadlines, resource requirements, requests for information, etc. — please accept my thanks, in advance, for your active participation in this process.

Over the past several weeks, a Project Management Steering Committee has been formed, and we have been meeting regularly and going about the arduous process of identifying and prioritizing the dozens of projects that demand QPharma’s attention.  In the coming weeks and months, please expect to hear from Bruce, his two Project Managers (Sarah Gerardo and Michael Gerace), and other members of the Steering Committee with various requests related to your role in helping this effort run smoothly.

I look forward to keeping you informed as our important work progresses.  Once again, thank you.

Kind regards,