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Does your organization need PMO?

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

Lately, the formation of Project Management Offices at organizations has become very popular. However, does your organization really need a PMO?

PMI describes Program Management Office as “The organization responsible for defining and managing the program-related governance process, procedures, templates, etc., supporting individual program management teams by handling administrative functions centrally, or providing dedicated assistance to the program manager.”

Depending on the size of the organization, PMO can support projects on a different level of maturity:

  1. Strategy

  2. Portfolio

  3. Program

  4. Project

Therefore, depending on your maturity, below are some of the challenges that PMO can resolve:

1. Single source of truth and project management knowledge

Creating of PMO team will help you identify, develop, and standardize project management methodology in your company. Regardless of whether the Project Manager has been working with you for years or has just joined the company, he will be able to reach to PMO to know:

  • Best practices and standards

  • How projects are developed and managed

  • Policies and procedures that apply to project management at your organizations

  • How the process is reported

Also, PMO would be able to support:

  • Training as Subject Metter Experts for different areas

  • Templates and project documentation

  • Quality Management

  • Change Management process if established

  • Resource management and availability

  • RAID management

In the best scenario, PMO should be a center of knowledge management and the place where your managers can reach and receive all the information they need regarding project management in the company.

2. Organizations struggle with delivering multiple programs or projects across departments

Managing various projects for many organizations is a big challenge. Changing the business environment causes project cancellations or changes within budget and scope – therefore, you need to set up and know your priorities. In that case, PMO will help you monitor and track your project delivery. They will monitor the budget and prepare forecasts, keep an eye on project timelines and quality standards. Also, they might take care of resources, their correct assignment (based on the highest priority projects) and monitor if resources are fully utilized.

Once you have a significant portfolio of projects, monitoring and quality checks should be standardized and controlled – PMO is a great role that will execute it.

3. Senior Management or Client needs a picture of status and health of the projects that currently are under realization

Regardless of how big your organization is and how advanced procedures you have, your client or senior management will be interested in how you are going. As previously written, PMO helps gather relevant project data, monitor compliance within project management standards and procedures (in case of corporate client - policies also will apply). Therefore, they often prepare reports on the portfolio level with the company's overall situation with project management. This does not mean that they cannot produce more minor project progress reports or the state of budget consumption.

4. Your organization is growing fast, and you need to implement standards within project management at the organization

The faster the organization grows, the faster the challenges come. If you do not put your processes and strategy in order, probably very fast, you will have an appropriate amount of mess instead of a rich portfolio of projects. By setting up a PMO team, you will be able to:

  • Establish processes and methodologies to optimize projects execution and communication in the organization

  • Maintain lessons learned and provide training

  • Optimize resource utilization

  • Get transparency in project and performance management

5. Program and Project Managers are overwhelmed by administrative work

Project Managers are very deeply involved in project execution, very often leading few projects simultaneously. To unload PMs from work, PMO takes care of creating and updating presentations, meeting minutes, reports, project documentation, and other paperwork. Moreover, PMO also keeps content in project management tools up to date and checks data quality. That way, your Project Managers will be able to focus on the most important in project execution.

Additionally, PMO could regularly distribute information to project team members and stakeholders or any other communication appropriate for your organization, manage shared resources, and take care of budget tracking.

Building a successful PMO in your organization starts from defining what you need from the PMO and the challenges that the PMO can resolve. There is no one specific list of responsibilities for your Project Management Office, and tasks will vary from organization to organization. The goal stays the same – increase in quality and process reliability.

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