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ISO 9001 Certification and PMO

A lot of PMO directors consider ISO 9001 certification for their PMO at some point. Some embark on the ISO 9001 certification path because it truly is customary to do so, particularly in organizations which are focused on product or service excellence. Other PMOs opt for ISO 9001 accreditation to win kudos amongst departments responsible for initiating for project work. Whatever the case possibly only a few PMO directors develop a strong rationale for undertaking such an endeavour.

Just before PMO directors contemplate ISO 9001 certification, it really is crucial to realize what ISO 9001 constitutes and how it can benefit PMOs. ISO 9001 is an international quality management regular that is geared towards improving the high quality of product and services, through the implementation of key processes and also the utilization of measures to determine the operational effectiveness of such processes.

ISO 9001 certification really should not be confused with the certification of the PMO’s project methodology. The later is really a fully diverse discipline, and in several approaches is less difficult then ISO 9001 certification. ISO 9001 certification demands the PMO to possess much more than just a project methodology. PMOs?aat a minimum?amust establish a top quality policy and have a high quality manual, interface with main HR and procurement processes, and continuously solicit consumer feedback and continually measure customer satisfaction. Additionally to project management culture, the PMO should be orientated towards a service culture and imbue its staff to be service driven.

On comprehending what ISO 9001 entails the PMO director needs to be scrupulous about the organization justification for undertaking accreditation. If the emphasis of the PMO would be to deliver products and services to external customers or to bid for prestigious contracts?a which is generally applicable to PMOs residing within skilled services?a where quality is an essential prerequisite inside the RFP process, then ISO 9001 is certainly worth pursuing. Another reason could be that the PMO is prone to unproductive processes, suffers from escalated costs and is plagued with low staff morale. Engagement in ISO 9001 certification method will improve the performance of the PMO and instill confidence in its staff.

Nevertheless, if the PMO is mature, good quality conscious and value driven, then ISO 9001 will add small value. In such situations, the PMO can administer its own audit of its processes, governance model, and roles and responsibilities. Any gaps that may possibly materialize could be swiftly addressed to improve PMO’s performance. Going via ISO 9001 in this case would be costly and almost certainly highlight comparable gaps to those discovered throughout the internal audit.

There could be instances, where the PMO director is motivated to undertake ISO 9001 as a means of demonstrating the PMO’s value to the firm by producing it the center of project excellence. This must be avoided at all costs. Instead the PMO director ought to show value not via ISO accreditation, but via the delivery of tangible rewards for the organization. By means of these delivery efforts, repeatedly and successfully, the PMO is going to be automatically recognized as the center of project excellence throughout the firm.

Last but not least, those who opt for ISO 9001 must be prepared for the lengthy haul i.e. ISO 9001 accreditation is reasonably easy to obtain but difficult to maintain. Right after the euphoria of accreditation, several PMOs struggle to keep their ISO credentials, as periodic surveillance audits disclose a litany of non-compliance items. To decrease non-conformities PMO directors usually wind up spending much more money?a by way of hiring consultants to bridge gaps and extra staff to produce records?a than anticipated, thereby undermining the whole ethos of ISO 9001 and wind up with a worthless piece of paper.

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