I have had several conversations over the past week and a half with clients on the creation of a PMO. I see this happen all of the time. Companies want to have a PMO, but they are really not sure what they want the PMO to do. Additionally, I get asked the question of whether to promote from within or hire externally for the PMO Manager. I generally have two responses to this question:
1) I think it is a cultural decision whether to promote from within or hire externally. For the most part, the expertise can be found externally, but they have to learn the cultural and political land mines to navigate. Internally, however, can sometimes just promote more of the same. It may not bring the change companies are looking to make.
2) To find a great PMO Manager, they are not necissarily your best project manager. To breed change and to make an impact on the company culture, you need someone who is willing to color outside of the lines. However, project managers have been taught to color inside the lines and ask for permission to let the color stray. It becomes the age old debate of creativity versus functionality.
I do not think there are any right or wrong answers to this puzzle, except to say that companies must understand what they want the PMO to accomplish before embarking on this journey. I will post much more on this topic in the coming weeks.