Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2007

The AtekPC Project Management Office

by F. Warren McFarlan, Mark Keil and John Hupp

Abstract

Presents one company's efforts to implement a project management organization, or PMO, and the challenges they faced in doing so. Issues brought out in the case include defining the PMO's purpose and mission, the structure and governance of the PMO, and how to successfully implement it in what appears to be a resistant culture. John Strider, AtekPC's chief information officer (CIO), had strong convictions that the PMO-light model was the way to go. He had held back on hiring fill time employees for the PMO and was moving very slowly and cautiously so as not to violate AtekPC's culture. He was also concerned about the many issues that the PMO implementation had already raised. Were small steps building on small successes going to get the job done fast enough? With the ever increasing challenge of successfully managing information technology (IT), organizations are recognizing the need for greater discipline in managing IT projects. For many organizations, this has meant ratcheting up project management skills, processes, and governance structures within the organization by implementing a project management office (PMO). Unfortunately, there is little shared understanding of the challenges of implementing a PMO. Therefore, managers and their organizations have inadequate guidance to help them identify and overcome the obstacles they are likely to encounter.

Keywords: Projects; Goals and Objectives; Technological Innovation; Information Technology; Business Strategy; Mathematical Methods; Consulting Industry;

Citation:

McFarlan, F. Warren, Mark Keil, and John Hupp. "The AtekPC Project Management Office." Harvard Business School Case 308-049, October 2007.