“PMO Governance” by Eugen Spivak

Eugen Spivak
Friesen Press (2019)
ISBN 9780995961838
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (02/2020)

“PMO Governance” by Eugen Spivak is a practical guide for creating, improving and running an effective Project Management Office (PMO). It’s an across-the-board strategic guide with specific methods and recommendations to help you succeed.  From those who’ve never heard of PMO to those looking to optimize their current strategies, this book provides techniques you can actually use!

The author does an excellent job breaking the subject down into an informative, well-written guide with tips that are easy to understand and follow. A novice will effortlessly comprehend the material, and this actually one of the most valuable aspects of this book – sure to differentiate it from other books on the subject. I found it refreshing that Spivak does not assume the reader already knows everything (or even anything in some cases). Instead of diving right into the action items, he devotes the entire first chapter to a discussion about what a PMO is, why you need it, and the differences in what a small business might implement compared to a medium or large business. In other words, he starts at the beginning! And, while this may sound like a common sense approach, many books of this nature assume the reader is already an expert, which is not often the case.

From there Spivak dives into the specifics, and the amount of information packed into this modest volume is substantial. But not to worry, in addition to providing thorough and precise detail throughout, Spivak includes Keynotes at the end of each chapter for easy reference and application. Clear, practical advice is found on every page and it’s a book full of golden nuggets. Pay close attention to the bold text – Spivak uses this simple font characteristic to bring items to the forefront that you don’t want to, and can’t afford to, miss. It’s the attention to little details like this that demonstrate the author’s intense passion for his work and his commitment to helping the reader succeed.

It’s also important to note that the information provided is not speculative, but actual real-life examples of what works, based on the author’s experience and expertise in working with hundreds of clients over the course of several decades. Readers can take what they learn even deeper by obtaining an assessment of their management processes on the author’s website.  “PMO Governance” by Eugen Spivak is highly recommended reading.

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