Project Management Office (PMO)…why have one

March 7th, 2007

Attributes associated with building the case for a PMO include:

·         Implementation of a project management methodology (if in doubt use PMBOK ©)

·         Leading organization changes in promoting project management culture (no more “flying by the seats of your pants”)

·         Institutionalizing organizational processes (COBIT © can at least get you started)

·         Improving overall performance (measure, calibrate, pick two things to perform, repeat as necessary)

Through 2004, IT organizations that establish enterprise stands for project management include a project office with suitable governance, will experience half the major project overruns, delays, and cancellations of those that fail to do so.”  Source:  “The Project Office: Teams, processes, Tools,” August 2000, Gartner Research.  Although dated, not much has changed. 

Consistency is the key.  It takes time to realize a real Return on Investment (ROI) from a PMO.  Just getting one up and running is simply another project, but also entails matching the right organizational structure to meet the evolving needs of the PMO.  By organization I mean that a PMO is composed of two distinct talented groups.  One that adheres to project management methods and spends the majority of their time listening, gaining consensus on requirements, cajoling, nagging, mediating, writing and talking.  The other group is the tool group.  Whatever tool you pick, it is best not to try and force one person to be a tool wizard and a professional project manager.  They end up not doing a good job at either!

PMO Functions:

·         Mentoring / coaching / training

·         Process development and standards

ü  Project development lifecycle

ü  Project management methods

ü  Documentation standards

ü  Project selection (i.e., portfolio)

ü  Risk assessment

ü  Change management

ü  Scheduling

ü  Time reporting

·         PM methodology assessment improvement

·         Organizational and staff certification (OPM3, PMP)

·         Project coordination and administration

·         Resource management

·         Integration and release management

·         Portfolio management

·         Program management

Project Administration:

·         Schedule maintenance

·         Status report distribution

·         Project document distribution

·         Project workbook maintenance

·         Project repository administration/maintenance

·         Software tool