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The Agile PMO: Leading the Effective, Value driven, Project Management Office (Volume 3) Paperback – February 27, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Nir - President of Sapir Consulting - (M.Sc. Engineering) has been providing operational, organizational and management consulting and training for over 15 years. He is passionate about Gestalt theory and practice, which complements his engineering background and contributes to his understanding of individual and team dynamics in business. Michael authored 11 Bestsellers in the fields of Influencing, Agile, Teams, Leadership and others. Michael's professional background includes significant expertise in the telecoms, hi-tech, software development, R&D environments and petrochemical & infrastructure industries. He develops creative and innovative solutions in project and product management, process improvement, leadership, and team building programs. 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. His style is facilitative, favoring Socratic Direction, employing a range of techniques, from mind mapping, NLP and accelerated learning to indoor gaming and active playful exercises. He has been working with a multitude of clients in a broad range of industries, ranging from high tech, medical, IT infrastructure, telecom to petrochemical. Michael engages participants from various backgrounds such as sales and marketing, operations, research and development and management.
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Product Details

  • Series: Project Management
  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 3 edition (February 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492819379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492819370
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provided good insight into various concepts that surround the establishment of a successful, effective PMO. But ultimately, I was disappointed at the depth of the material and the number of grammatical errors, which prevented this book from fulfilling its potential.

The positives that I found include:
- "Kotter's 8-Step Change Model for Successful Transformational Change"
- Mission of the PMO

The section that describes guidelines for Agile PMO, while useful, was light on detail and did not cover the one scenario that I was looking for: small/mid-sized companies.

The author does not appear to have a strong grasp of agile principles. In one statement "Time boxing is great as long as you are flexible to changing the durations of the time box if necessary.", the author oversimplifies and does not explain what he meant by this, and why this is considered "best practice" in his mind. Changing the duration of the timebox can create chaos that disrupts the project. Also, there were only 10 pages or so of content related to "Agile PMO"; for a book that is titled "Agile PMO", I expected much more detailed coverage of the main subject matter.

Despite the good data I found reading this book, I found several grammatical and spelling errors, which are minor, but create a distraction. In the age of spell-checkers, I find it inexcusable for a book aimed at professionals (or any published book, for that matter) to have such blatant mistakes. Examples of such errors are below. There were also a number of mis-capitalized words such as "Methodology" in places that do not require it.

"personal" instead of "personnel"
"defiend" instead of "defend"
"you’re" instead of "your"

Due to the issues I mentioned, I give this book 3 stars overall. The content overall is ok but the errors detract from its value.
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Too much a rehash of so-called "best practices," which in fact, could be used with any other activity and/or change initiative. Nothing new...

As other reviewers have also pointed out, not much depth and/or totally lacking in substance. I do begin to wonder where the 5- and 4-star reviews come from...

Moreso, the use of "Agile" in the title? There is nothing "Agile" about what he has written, if you take it from the perspective of the Agile Methodology/SCRUM, etc. After the last page, I felt like being a victim of a "bait-and-switch."

In summary, I was hoping to find some PMO-specific best practices, processes, methodologies, templates, etc. that I could leverage in my work. The title of the book is very misleading, and unfortunately came out feeling empty-handed...
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