Atekpc Pmo Case Study

Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2007

The AtekPC Project Management Office

by F. Warren McFarlan, Mark Keil and John Hupp


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;

Harvard Business School: the Atekpc Project Management Office

1550 WordsJul 12th, 20137 Pages

Cases in Applied Project Management

Individual Assignment
Identify the main purpose and mission of a PMO and what are the main challenges and obstacles in implementing a PMO? (HBS: The AtekPC Project Management Office)

Submitted by: KMO Greene

The AtekPC Company found in 1984 has grown in size and scope to become a mid-sized technology PC manufacturer. The company now boasts 2100 fulltime employees with an additional 200 part time workers and revenues of $1.9 billion. AtekPC finds itself, like all other PC manufacturers facing a changing industry, one that is transitioning from a growth market industry to a maturing market industry and like all competitors in the marketplace, AtekPC is experiencing tremendous…show more content…

Without constraints, Nelson would employ a team of people consisting of project analysts, as well as managers very rapidly. He was more concerned in the group’s productivity and outcomes than in how the group might be perceived or affects organizational culture at AtekPC.
The issue of implementing a PMO and the obstacles associated with implementing the PMO at AtekPC is not unique to AtekPC. Most organizations that are implementing a new PMO do so as a result of changing times, changing market forces or changing personnel and culture. AtekPC finds itself having to deal with changing market forces as the PC industry moved away from a growth market industry to a mature market industry. Cost pressures increase tremendously on mature markets since areas for growth are no longer viable. Managers must effectively manage processes and supply chain to maximize profits in a mature market industry. PMO offers centralized efforts that are dedicated to improving the practice and results of the organizations project management.
The challenges for implementing the PMO at AtekPC are roughly the same most companies have had to overcome in implementing PMOs. Some of AtekPC’s challenges are as follows:
Lack of recognition of value of PMO to the organization and evaluating the effectiveness of the PMO within the organization – Because many mature organization view PMO as just another reporting mechanism for senior management, it

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