BPM and the PMO: Oil & Water, or Peanut Butter & Jelly?

February 9, 2011 No Comments

Written by: E. Scott Menter, VP of Business Solutions for BP Logix

Traditionally, a fine line has divided process from project in the enterprise. The Project (or Portfolio) Management Office (PMO) is responsible for oversight of projects—however that is defined within that organization—while process governance is often distributed throughout the organization, perhaps with some input from a process improvement team.  The process improvement group is usually organized around a set of principles, often Six Sigma or Operational Excellence, while the PMO is operated according to its own guidelines, such as a project life cycle or systems development life cycle (I’ll refer to these, collectively, as PLC). Finally, the PMO is generally responsible for efforts that cost money, while the process improvement folks have a clear mandate to identify savings.

Perhaps process and project have been separated for too long. The PLC after all, is itself a process, requiring planning, oversight, and documentation, and subject to review, audit, and regulatory examination, just like any other process. Furthermore, the PLC is one of the most important processes in the organization, often involving tremendous expenditures of money and resources. Other business processes have benefited from leveraging BPM solutions: could the PLC benefit as well? If BPM can make the work of the PMO easier and more transparent, the benefits could ripple throughout the enterprise.

What do you think about BPM in the PMO? Are they doomed to forever be separate? How will one or the other have to change for them to come together? Leave your comments below.


Scott Menter BPM and the PMO: Oil & Water, or Peanut Butter & Jelly?E. Scott Menter is the VP of Business Solutions for BP Logix, a provider of business process management (BPM) solutions to corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Scott is the former head of technology for WaMu Investments, a national retail brokerage. In addition to technology leadership positions he held in financial services and higher education, Scott spent over a decade leading his own identity management software firm. Scott invites you to contact him at Scott.Menter@bplogix.com or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESMatBPL.

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