Book writing week five

The easy stuff is done

PMO-Services BookI am maintaining good progress towards the goal of documenting what all of the services are likely to be. I feel good in that quite a few of the domains are done, so that looks positive in the items delivered column. This week I have written 100 services of the 300+ services we started with. I did manage to finish the group I started last week plus another one.


On the way I have found a whole lot of duplicate services. I had a disappointing week this week as 3 of the services I wrote or tried to write turned out to be duplicates. I spent time writing one of them completely before working out it was duplicate. The next one I looked at I got half way through and then realised was a duplicate and the third one I realised was duplicated just as I started it. It felt like a morning wasted but I then realised this is why we are doing this. At no point has anyone tried to do this before, so there are bound to be duplications.

It is then how do you group them together? If I have a service of review business cases does that go under Benefits, because there are benefits in the business case? Does it go under Finance, because there are costs in the business case? Does it go under Portfolio Management as you need a business case in order to approve a project? Does it go under Project Start-up as you need a business case when you start a project? Does it go under consultancy as you are providing advice to the project manager? I am sure there will be other examples where we can have a healthy debate about the grouping of these services


As well as finding duplicates, I have found items that we missed. Whilst that is great as it makes it a more complete book, from a writing point of view just when you think you have completed a section then you find additional work for yourself.

Looking forward to next week

Now all of the smaller domains have been written it is time to tackle the larger domains. I expect if I am lucky I can get one of these domains written, maybe one and a half. I would like to finish this month if possible, but I do need to concentrate on trying to get the next contract sorted as well. If you know of anyone who could do with a PMO person then please get in touch.

2 thoughts to “Book writing week five”

  1. As I read this, I found myself thinking – why is it necessary to group services using just one hierarchy? In the same way that Lord of The Rings can be filed under “Books”, “Films”, AND “Fantasy Fiction” (because it is all of these), can’t Review Business Cases go under Finance, Portfolio Management, AND Project Start-up, as it is relevant to all of them? Could we consider using metadata tags rather than rigid hierarchical groupings?
    I understand however that a metadata approach is hard to implement in a physical book…
    One way to get round this might be to fully describe the service under the heading to which it is MOST relevant, or within the heading under which it appears first in the typical lifespan of a project (or portfolio), and refer to the same service under other headings as a cross-reference? Just a thought…

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