If you are working in medium sized company, you should have heard Project Management Office (PMO) a lot. What does Project Management Office or PMO does in an organization? What are the different Project Management Office (PMO) structures in an organization? What are the responsibilities of Project Management Office (PMO).

project management office pmo

We went through Project Management Office, PMO, in detail during this post.

Project Management Office (PMO)

Project management office is abbreviated as PMO. And the main role of the Project Management Office (PMO) department is centralizing the overall project management of the company. This means, there are several projects that a company executes at a time. Project Management Office ensures the successful management and coordination of these several projects with its processes and tools. Information, documents, coordination and management are done mainly with the help of Project Management Office or PMO department. Depending on the size of the company, number of projects and size of the projects, size and hierarchy of the PMO department might change as well.

Project Management Office Structures

There are fundamentally three structures for Project Management Office or PMO departments.

1. Supportive Project Management Office: Supportive PMO supplies templates, best practices, training, lessons learned documentation etc. to the other departments and projects. This type of PMO actually acts as a repository of the company. This PMO structure is like archive of the company and gives information and documentation when necessary but it does not have a solid control on projects.

2.Controlling Project Management Office: Controlling PMO supports and requires compliance to tools and methods. They follow whether required documents are submitted in a project, or relevant steps are executed based on the processes etc. This type of PMO has a moderate degree of control in projects.

3. Directive Project Management Office: Directive PMO manages the projects and it is the sole accountable from the success of projects. They do have a strong position in the company and a relevant authority respectively. Directive PMO has the highest degree of control among other types of PMO.

project management office pmo

Project Management Office Responsibilities

Now, let’s look over what Project Management Office does in an organization.

Project Management Office may manage inter-dependencies between projects. There might be several projects ongoing in a project and one project might affect each other. For instance, Project "A" might be started only if Project "B" finished. These kinds of or even more complex inter-dependencies of projects are managed by PMO.

Project Management Office may help providing resources to the projects. When there is a new project, PMO assigns the project manager of the project. Or, if the PMO is directive, all project resources of the company might be reporting to the PMO. For instance, software developers, analysts, test engineers etc. In this case, Project Management Office will be responsible for constituting the overall project team structure.

Project Management Office may terminate projects. If PMO sees that the objectives of the project will not be met any more, it can discuss with the business or customer to terminate the project.

Project Management Office will monitor compliance with organizational processes. In order to initiate a project or close a project, several processes within an organization might be executed. For instance, if you will need a tool or equipment for a project, this will require procurement. And to purchase this tool or equipment, processes of finance department might be executed. PMO will initiate and follow it in this case.

Project Management Office may collect the lessons learned documentation from projects. Projects experience several situations that show weaknesses and strengths of the company. These should be documented and collected by PMO. And these must be used in future projects to improve weak points or take preventive and corrective actions for the problems encountered in a past project.

project management office pmo

Project Management Office provide templates. A project requires several documents such as planning template, budget template, risk register template … etc. In order to have a standard type of documentation, PMO may provide templates for the projects.

Project Management Office may provide guidance. If a project faces a problem or if there is a conflict that needs to be escalated, PMO will guide in this case.

Project Management Office provides centralized communication about the projects. Coordination and management of projects in a company are centralized in PMO therefore, PMO may provide centralized communication about the projects as well.

Project Management Office may be part of change control board. Change control board (CCB) approves whether a change will be implemented in a project. As the department managing and coordinating projects, PMO may be part of the Change Control Board respectively.

Project Management Office may be a stakeholder. Stakeholder is a person or organization who might be affected positively or negatively from the outcomes of a project. By its nature, since PMO is managing and controlling projects, it will be a stakeholder as well.

project management office pmo

We have gone over some duties of Project Management Office (PMO) in this post. But note that, these are only the major ones. There are other lots of tasks and activities that are done by PMO in a company.

You can check what Wikipedia tells about Project Management office and also Why You Need a Project Management Office (PMO) article at CIO.


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