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Project Management Office (PMO)

Today I will talk about the PMO – Project Management Office, definitions and reason for having PMO in an organizations.

First Let us talk about what you mean by Project Management.

Project management in a broader context includes program management, portfolio management and project management office. Though, project management office has its own different forms; some called it project office, some as program office. But whatever it may be called as, the bottom line is to optimize the utilization of the resources across the projects in an organization, project planning, monitoring and control and give value addition to avoid falling of the projects in the pothole.

We’ve also  seen that the project fails not because of the quality, but because of the project management in true sense.  The idea to present this article, is to create the awareness of the PMO functions to the Project Team, Stakeholders involved in the projects. In India, this role is still at its infancy stage and for successful implementation of PMO; we need to first understand, what are its functions and value provided to the organization as a whole.

There are 6 series in which I will be presenting the article and are outlined below:

1. PMO functions

2. Inputs and Outputs to PMO

3. Why do PMO implementation fails?

4. PMO maturity models

5. PMO organization models

6. Suggestions for the successful implementation of PMO in an organization

Apart from the above series, I’ll be adding the topics which are indirectly related to this article and also sharing some templates/formats used during my tenure as PMO in the organization.

The article will guide you in which areas of PMO, it can be improved and also the responsibility can be made more concise and the measurements for measuring the values of the implementation of PMO.

I)   PMO functions and inputs and outputs to PMO

Project managers execute their projects in isolation without clear understanding of the overall organization goals and the customer requirements (senior managements). There is a disconnect between the project goals and the organization goals. To bridge this gap, PMO plays a very important role and helping project stakeholders to align with the organization goals and the customer requirements.

A) PMO Functions:

  • Oversees the management of projects, programs or a combination of both
  • Focuses on coordinated planning, prioritization and execution of projects and subprojects that are tied to parent organization’s or client’s overall business objectives
  • Can receive delegated authority to act as an integral stakeholder and a key decision-maker during the initiation stage of each project
  • Can have authority to make recommendations or can terminate projects to keep the business objectives consistent
  • Can be involved in the selection, management and redeployment, if necessary, of shared project personnel and where possible, dedicated project personnel
  • Shared and coordinated resources across all projects administered by PMO
  • Identification and development of project management methodology, best practices and standards
  • Clearing house and management for project policies, procedures , template and other shared documentation
  • Centralized configuration management for all projects administered by PMO
  • Central office for operation and management of project tools, such as enterprise-wide project management software
  • Central coordination of communication management across projects
  • A mentoring platform for project managers
  • Central monitoring of all PMO project timelines and budgets, usually at the enterprise level
  • Coordination of overall project quality, standards between the project manager and any internal or external quality personnel or standards organization
  • Contracting, financial control and representation of all functional areas
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