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The Benefits of Having a Project Management Office (PMO)

Published: April 25, 2012

What is a Project Management Office (PMO)?

According to Gartner, world-class organizations enjoy a high level of project success rate. So what is the secret of their success? For one, they have established successful Project Management Offices (PMOs). In fact, two-thirds of organizations implementing PMOs report that project success rates have improved significantly as a result. The Project Management Office (PMO) in a business or professional enterprise is the department or group that defines and maintains the standards of process, generally related to project management, within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. It is the source of documentation, guidance, and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.

5 Key Benefits of Project Management Office

Below are 5 key benefits of Project Management Office. Structured, lucid, and coherent methodology that enables senior management to increase the rate of benefits realization through:

  • Having a full transparency into all aspects of the projects
  • Having better control over projects
  • Being better equipped to make the optimal decisions related to projects
  • Minimizing uncertainty and associated risks
  • Increasing support and buy in from all stakeholders

Factors to Consider when Setting up a PMO Office

  • Vision – Why are we setting up a PMO Office? What is our vision?
  • Maturity – Are we a small or large organization? What is our project maturity level?
  • Organizational Culture – Do we want a consultative PMO or a centralized PMO Office?
  • Strategy – Are we committed for the long term so that the benefits of Project Management Office can be realized?

8 Capabilities that a PMO Office Needs for Success

  • Project Portfolio Selection - Processes that cover the strategic alignment of projects with overall business objectives.
  • Financial Planning – Budgeting and planning of projects.
  • Performance Tracking - Tracking delivery and performance against KPIs and project benefits identified
  • Project Status Reporting - Tracking milestones, costs, baselines, and reporting to stakeholders on the status of a project
  • Risk, Issue and Project Dependency Management - Tracking, analyzing and escalating issues, risks and inter-project dependencies
  • Change Order Management - Managing processes related to approval of new projects or changes in scope, budget, and timeframes of existing projects
  • Project Quality Assurance - Managing QA processes and ensuring that the quality of all deliverables is checked according to the agreed guidelines
  • PM Training - Training staff to ensure project success

Setting up a Project Management Office is a project in itself. When rolling out a PMO, an organization will need experienced consultants to guide them so pitfalls can be avoided, design project management processes, and prioritize PMO Office goals. Having experienced consultants in the early stages is one of the critical factors to the success of a PMO implementation.

Do you have any questions or feedback for me on the benefits of having a Project Management Office? Please feel free to comment below.

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