Misconception: Multiple Active Projects Increase The Perceived Value Of The PMO?

I once worked in a PMO that had over 200 listed active projects and that might sound impressive. If anyone spent time looking under the hood, they would find it quite the opposite. The reason this PMO had so many active projects was its inability to find a solution for ongoing product maintenance. The issue was that the time tracking system was tied into the project management system. You couldn't close a project that produced a product, because no one could then log maintenance time to the product produced. 

From a Monday Night Football game a few weeks ago (Seahawks vs. Bills). Awesome game and as always, GO HAWKS!

Taking that aside for the moment, lets compare two PMO environments and see if a quantification approach can be used to judge which is better. To even the playing fields as much as possible, each PMO has six individuals and those individuals have the same titles in each PMO. Lets say that it consists of a program manager, three project managers, a business analyst and a quality assurance lead. 

If PMO A has 15 active projects and 10 project requests, is that PMO less important than a PMO that is tracking twice those numbers? A person might respond to that question with a question of their own in regards to other quantifiable values. Those questions could revolve around aspects such as project cost, risks, value proposition and so forth. If the smaller PMO is managing more risks that the larger one, is that PMO perceived as more important or producing more value to the organization?

What about a consideration that the PMO with less active projects is the better PMO because they actually close projects on a regular basis? Isn't that the whole point, to successfully execute a project, close it and then deliver value to the organization? If this is true, the quantity of content residing within a PMO project pipeline is much less important overall than tracking what projects have exited the pipeline and how quickly they move through it.  Am I wrong here?

© 2016 Dwayne Wright