re: Project Management Offices: A Waste Of Money?
Looking at the size of the Hackett Group, I am willing to take a bet, that the Hackett Group has some form of PMO (although under a different title), to understand where it's consultancy resources are placed, and are they delivering to plan and budget for their assignment ;-) (sarcasm over)
The issue is generally not with the PMO, but with the sponsorship of a PMO. The same goes for good and bad project managers. If a project management delivery team as a whole is bad, then this can also be seen as an overhead from the business, and more than likely it is the sponsorship / leadership causing the issue.
When organisations 'invest' in a PMO, what are they looking for on their investment return?
An old friend of mine used to say 'a mechanics car is never properly fixed, or a decorators house is never properly decorated, so don't expect people in Information Technology to use information to be gathered by technology, to properly fix their problems!!!'
A PMO is the hub for all project / programme information, and the sooner the PMO is sponsored to use and recycle this information to help future projects to perform better; and this also goes for Agile as well (and I have worked with PMO's who have helped improve performance of Agile projects using past data and information), then the organisation will be more successful in delivering projects.
It would be nice to see people balance their analysis on what weak is, but also what successful looks like.