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Friday, 11 July 2008 07:16

Is Your PMO Ready to Go Green?

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Organizations around the world are implementing formal project management processes and disciplines to deliver their work initiatives on time, within budget and to an agreed upon level of quality. Part of the ability to execute better, faster and cheaper comes from your ability to implement common and scalable processes and practices across your entire organization. Many organizations have attempted to deploy common processes through a focused Project Management Office (PMO).

One of the future roles of a Project Management Office may be to help a company implement green and environmentally friendly practices. This can include, but is not limited to, green project management (GreenPM) practices. 

The PMO can apply “greenthink” by incorporating environment-related factors into the products and services that the PMO is responsible for. Let’s look at some typical PMO responsibilities to see how PMOs can go green.

  • Processes and methodology. A PMO usually owns the project management methodology, but can also have responsibility for portfolio management, business planning, development lifecycle and other organizational methodologies. These processes can be modified to determine when green thinking may be applicable. The PMO should not write processes that mandate environmental costs at the expense of providing business value. Instead, the emphasis should be placed on understanding when environmental factors should be considered.
  • Training. Many PMOs are responsible for training the staff to build competencies and ensure good processes and techniques are understood and practiced. This training can be reviewed two ways. First, environmental awareness can be encouraged and taught to the staff. Second, the staff should be trained in how the new green practices have been integrated into existing processes.
  • Project and organizational assessments. Many PMOs currently are responsible for assessing projects and organizations to determine how well they are adhering to standards and policies. These project audits could be expanded to also validate how well each project team is following the company’s environmental standards and policies.
  • Metrics and best practices. The PMO would be the logical place to coordinate the collection and consolidation of metrics (measures) related to green processes. The PMO can also collect green key learnings from projects to help formulate a set of green best practices that will be applicable to all projects.
  • Environmental Management System (EMS) representative. Organizations that are serious about incorporating green practices usually have created an EMS. The EMS provides guidance for all of the departmental initiatives related to environmental policies. The EMS usually requires broad participation and buy-in across the company. A representative from the PMO would be a logical candidate for the EMS Steering Committee.

PMOs already have a natural role as supporters and promoters of various standards and processes within their organizations. With the environment being a shared, global responsibility for everyone, it seems that the PMO can be another avenue for an organization to champion its environmental focus.

Read 7363 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 December 2009 21:42
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