Churchill Downs Inc., Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Churchill Downs racetrack is the home of the annual Kentucky Derby thoroughbred horse race. Throughout its storied history, the racetrack's projects were sealed with a handshake, with little oversight involved. As a result, project outcomes were not tracked and the value of investments never known. This article profiles the project management office (PMO) that Churchill Downs created in 2007 to oversee its IT projects. In doing so, it discusses the factors that led to the organization's decision to establish its PMO; it explains the approach that the PMO's leader used to introduce formal project management into the organization without disrupting its established culture and without inundating project managers and personnel with a plethora of processes. It outlines the model that the PMO leader used to structure his approach, describing how the PMO evolved into an enterprise PMO that is now integrated into the organization's long-established culture. It then overviews the PMO's general purpose and its approach
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