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Agile Project Management: The Agile PMO - Leading the Effective, Value Driven, Project Management Office, a practical guide (Agile Business Leadership Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Review

The Agile PMO

This book leads with a single central principle - that a PMO's sole reason for existence is the creation of value for the organisation, and that the single most effective way it can do that is by managing the allocation of resources to projects. Of course, tools, methodology and processes are all good things to have, but identifying how to deploy resources for the best return on that investment is where a PMO really comes into its own.

I initially found such a forceful statement a little hard to swallow, but the book shows (using example scenarios drawn from the author's consulting experience) several ways how the PMO can fail if it chooses to focus its efforts in other directions.
If a PMO focuses on methodology, the PMs may superficially complete templates and processes just to keep the PMO quiet, but the completed templates and processes may bear little relation to reality. Unless the methodology is focused tightly on improving project delivery, this type of PMO merely increases administrative burden on PMs without enhancing value. Again, the PMO will be cut as soon as funding decreases.
The value created can be measured in terms of increasing the number of projects being delivered in a given time (since completed projects create value). As the availability of resources (people and/or money) is usually the single largest barrier to delivering more projects, increasing project delivery is often best achieved by creating a view of project and resource status to enable the most effective utilisation of resources across the project portfolio.
Well worth the purchase price. 
Ken Burrell - June 10, 2013
on: arraspeople.co.uk/

From the Author

View Michael's Presentation about the Agile PMO - November 2013 - Nordic Project Zone

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2437 KB
  • Print Length: 158 pages
  • Publication Date: January 4, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BMP8518
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Nir - President of Sapir Consulting US LLC - PMP, Scaled Agile Consultant - has been helping clients overcome business challenges and achieve their potential for over 16 years. He is passionate about Gestalt theory and practice, which complements his civil and industrial engineering background (M.Sc. and B.Sc.) and contributes to his understanding of individual and team dynamics in business. Michael authored best-sellers on Influencing, Agile, Teams, and Leadership. His experience includes significant know-how in the telecoms, hi-tech, banking, R&D environments and petrochemical & infrastructure industries. He develops creative and innovative solutions in Agile project and product management, process improvement, leadership, and team building.

Michael's professional background is analytical and technical; however, he has a keen interest in human interactions and behaviors. He holds two engineering degrees from the prestigious Technion Institute of Technology: a Bachelor of civil engineering and Masters of Industrial engineering. He has balanced his technical side with the extensive study and practice of Gestalt Therapy and "Instrumental Enrichment," a philosophy of mediated learning. In his consulting and training engagements, Michael integrates the engineering technical world with interpersonal dynamics, delivering unique and meaningful solutions.

Michael travels extensively to Europe and East Asia, conducting training and consulting. He understands people, organizations and cultures and has a high degree of comfort leading cross-functional and cross-cultural training. Whether he focuses on the "soft side" or on project business skills, or a combination of both, he is effective facilitating learning on myriad topics, including negotiations, conflict management, influence without authority, leadership, body language, and presentation.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Csaba Krizsanyik on September 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recommend it to all PjM’s, who have questions after jumping in the Agile way of working and realized first complex problems to tackle.
Let’s spare some time, with avoiding to reinvent the wheel.
Read this instead! 
Thank you Michael for this really nice summary with lifelike examples.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Brilliant Baseliner on June 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book leads with a single central principle - that a PMO's sole reason for existence is the creation of value for the organisation, and that the single most effective way it can do that is by managing the allocation of resources to projects. Of course, tools, methodology and processes are all good things to have, but identifying how to deploy resources for the best return on that investment is where a PMO really comes into its own.

I initially found such a forceful statement a little hard to swallow, but the book shows (using example scenarios drawn from the author's consulting experience) several ways how the PMO can fail if it chooses to focus its efforts in other directions.

If a PMO fails to establish the necessary authority and credibility with the Project Manager (PM) community at a sufficiently early stage, it becomes relegated to performing only supportive, administrative work. This is so time-consuming that there is no time to develop more useful services, value delivery is limited and the PMO will be cut as soon as funding decreases.

If a PMO focuses on methodology, the PMs may superficially complete templates and processes just to keep the PMO quiet, but the completed templates and processes may bear little relation to reality. Unless the methodology is focused tightly on improving project delivery, this type of PMO merely increases administrative burden on PMs without enhancing value. Again, the PMO will be cut as soon as funding decreases.

PMOs that function mainly as a home for PMs do little to create value (other than managing the PMs as resources). Despite this it can persist for a long time as business value is not even considered, and the PMO duties are usually carried out by fairly junior (cheap) people.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aliza Errell on July 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This PMO guide is useful in the way I describes the value driven PMO, it is written in a well understood language and highlights the important implementation faults to avoid. I highly recommend it to anyone that handles PMO implementations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kencity on April 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am an experienced project manager and am in the process of implementing a PMO for a client and have struggled with getting buyin to the process and governance (decision making). This book really helped remind me that we should be concentrating on the big picture - why is the PMO there - to add value in relation to resource management and delivering strategic projects. Could not recommend it enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By rachel yakir on June 30, 2013
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The value driven PMO is a very useful concept, seen also elsewhere, in this book the practical steps for achieving it, or rather the steps that one should avoid, are outlined as well. The case studies illuminate
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Simon Herbert on November 5, 2013
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Great practical advice on what to do and what not to do when setting up a PMO. Some great examples of how PMOs evolve into non-value add organisations.. Strongly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. P. Portman on April 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The eBook gives you a short insight into Michael's experience you could use when you have to set-up a PMO.
The 32 pages are divided into three sections. In the first section you got three examples of PMO failures. For the case of simplicity he keeps them separately but in reality it will probably be a combination. He describes the tactical PMO, the methodology PMO and the project manager PMO. All three PMO's will be disbanded once funds are depleted and the fact that they are not adding value to the organization.
The next section uses a case study to discuss common misdirection of value based PMO's. What will happen if you try to have the whole cake and implement it with a big bang. The next one is about thinking in tools. You first have to get a common understanding concerning methodology and processes or what I am always saying it has to be clear for all involved, it has to be between the ears before you can start talking about tools. The third scenario is the Obstacle creating PMO. If your PMO creates barriers, e.g. due to the chosen methodology, for proper project management, i twill not be beneficial to your organization.
The last section will give you some best practices in creating a value driven PMO. It uses Kotter's eight phases for change leadership to construct and maintain a value adding PMO. A next chapter helps you to define what value is and what value do projects contribute to organizations. For me this is a chapter about proper portfolio management. The last chapter is about the agile PMO - delivering value incrementally. Deliver only what is necessary at the appropriate time. To explain this scenario Michael uses the same case as mentioned before.
The title is a little bit confusing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NbleSavage on July 11, 2013
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Nice, brief overview of the Do's and Do Not's of establishing and leading a PMO. Won't take the place of a more extensive dive into tactics and strategy, but a good primer for those starting out.
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