A Project Management Office (PMO) is a center of excellence that ensures a consistent approach to project management throughout the organization. Successfully established PMO’s lead to improved project performance and significant business benefits.
Clients who are establishing a PMO for the first time typically experience these sorts of issues:
- Finding that “stovepipes” in the organization inhibit or prevent the development of information needed to make decisions about projects.
- Projects are not tied to the strategic planning process.
- Investment benefits are not being realized.
- Not having believable metrics that show how well projects are supporting the business.
- Not getting project information needed to make investment/de-investment decisions; it may be untimely, too detailed, not detailed enough, and/or does not address the executive-level decision making processes.
If they have a PMO, there are often concerns that the PMO is not actually functioning as well as it is might and may not know what it takes to increase its potential as a business asset. Common signs that an existing PMO may not be delivering the expected Return On Investment (ROI) include:
- Being surprised by projects that seem to be suddenly in trouble.
- Project management practices are not spreading throughout the organization as expected.
- The PMO has not proven to be the training ground it was expected to be for up and coming project managers and leaders.
For many clients, the task of setting up a PMO or improving a PMO’s functioning can be a daunting challenge. Often organizations see the initial setup as a straightforward task, perhaps no different than any other minor reorganization. However, even the basics of who’s going to run the PMO requires more thought than just promoting an existing project manager.
It’s not uncommon for politics to play a part in determining the PMO’s roles, responsibilities, and authority levels and to whom it reports within the organization. But there are many other factors beyond the organizational ones that will ultimately contribute to the PMO’s success or failure.
Ten Six has developed a proven, structured approach to implementing PMO’s. We recognize that not all PMO’s are the same shape and size; as a result, we do not prescribe a one size fits all solution. There are many different roles that PMO’s can fill and these vary from one organization to another.
Typically, the following functions may be supported:
- Developing and maintaining project management methodologies, standards and templates.
- Selecting and maintaining tools.
- Supporting enterprise reporting, metrics and analysis.
- Supplying project management expertise and support to project teams.
- Providing project management education and training to the organization.
- Developing career paths and certifications.
- Developing leaders and managers who can step into larger roles in the future.
Years in the field have revealed one critical theme common across all implementations; success lies in the ability of the PMO to align itself correctly with the organization. While this may sound obvious, it is not uncommon for misalignment’s to occur, whether subtle or more overt. We have found that the most successful and valued PMO’s are the ones that continually realign themselves; sometimes adjusting their roles slightly as inevitable organizational changes occur.
Learn why a Ten Six PMO Pulse Check is a great place to start and how it can get the help your PMO needs.
If you’re interested in setting up a PMO or have an existing PMO that needs help realigning or “upping its game”, call us today (703) 910-2600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how Ten Six’s expertise and experience can help.