Project Management Office

A PMO stands for any of below three terms;

  • Project Management Office
  • Program Management Office
  • A Portfolio Management Office

Whatever your organization name it is the same thing overall. A PMO basically consists of senior executives within the organization to serve strategic goals at the end of the day.

You need to figure out what it means to your organization.

Question is how to differentiate then either it’s a Project, Program or a Portfolio Management Office?

You can differentiate these on the basis of Time Scale and Ambitions within any organization.

PMO - Project, program or portfolio management office

Project Management Office

PMOs deals with short term initiatives. The governance takes decisions up to two years periods usually. Not look beyond that period.

The services it provides compliance, collation of information and training across the project and only one initiative.

The goal is the same to help project managers to achieve the goal through good practices.

Program Management Office

A program management office deals with more than one projects. The governance takes decisions up to two to five years periods usually. Not look beyond that period.

The services it provides governance, the coordination among budget, resources and time.

The goal is the same to help project managers and program managers as well to achieve the goal through good practices.

Portfolio Management Office

A portfolio management office role is more strategic in nature. The governance takes decisions up to five to ten years periods usually even more than this if applicable.

Portfolio Management Office role is highly strategic and for long term scenarios. Looking at all the projects in the portfolio, taking decisions to call off any project or accelerate if required.

Goals of Portfolio Management Office is the strategic planning and high-level goals setting for any organization by coordination with all project and program managers within the organization.

PMO Project Management

A PMO is a department or you can say an office within an organization that basically defines and maintains standards for project management within the serving organization.

Nowadays, the PMO (PMO) has proven its worth in organizations dealing with a number of projects at the same time. But if the organization is small then it is just a liability.

“At the end of the day, PMOs are in place to help organizations deliver value to their stakeholders” Brian Weiss – VP, practitioner career development of the Project Management Institute – PMI

Why a PMO?

Every large organization has a PMO or planning to acquire in the near future. In 2000, nearly 47% of the large organizations have PMO and that number increased to 87% in 2012 – Surveyed by PM Solutions

The question is why every organization is going for PMO – Answer is simple it helps to grow & maintain the business of serving the organization.

Every organization needs to have archives of all the processes, methods, conflicts, risks register, lesson learned that helps to take decisions for successful completion of projects – A PMO does that job efficiently. This dedicated department provides necessary due support the Senior Management & Project Managers to concentrate on their jobs.

Who is in the PMO?

PMO consists of multi-skill project management executive staff. The professional are Project/Program manager, schedulers, planners, controllers, coordinators, etc.

This team works in an integrated way to handle PMO jobs and to the better interest to achieve organization objectives.

Project Management Director – PMD is the highest authority guy in any PMO and accountable for its success or failure. PMD has authority equal to VP or any high-level functional manager.

Roles & Responsibilities | PMO

PMO (PMO) roles and responsibilities depend on the size of any organization and how may projects & programs organization be dealing with at the very moment.

PMO tracks all the projects, programs at a bigger picture and maintain the records. PMO task structure changes from company to company but the overall scenario remains the same that is to ease of task of higher Management and of Project team in every possible manner.

Let’s enlist in details all the stuff PMO normally do for any organization generally;

  • Conflict Management: The reason I put it on first is that it works as a mediator in the most crucial factor when managing stakeholders for the better interest of the project. Experts in PMO should be experienced enough to deal with conflict for win-win if any escalated to them. It will ease the pain of higher management ultimately- a big factor
  • Project Portfolio Management: Portfolio management is the key to achieve objective cross-functional organization. It will help for decision making if to bid a project or put extra resources in any project or even to reduce resources at any project to optimize them on a different project. To avoid resources conflict is the major task to be done by PMO anywhere. Tracking through project portfolio management helps to get optimal results with minimum resources.
  • Training & Coaching: PMO job is to check all the forecast scenarios and get train own staff rather hiring a skilled person from outside to fill the gaps. Training should also be done at ongoing projects. Outside trainers can be hired if necessary.
  • Lesson Learned: PMO should record the lesson learned from projects throughout the project phase. Lesson Learned is a big help to make decisions for future projects as well as ongoing projects at any phase.
  • Tools & Techniques: PMO is the one should decide to implement different tools, software, techniques and standard to get homogenized results all over. This will help get transparency and reliability in data ultimately.

Benefits of a PMO?

Some benefits are already discussed in details more are here in short;

  • Aligns everyone on the same page
  • Standardized the procedures
  • Reduces pain for the project and program managers
  • Captures lesson learned in efficient manners

Wrap Up

PMO is the best for big organizations running multiple projects or programs in the long run as it helps in so many ways. But if your organization can’t afford and have a very few projects then it is just a liability.

 FAQ’s


Can a PMO accelerate the implementation process?

It is said that a PMO in a company will increase the probability of project portfolio management success and this way it ultimately helps to accelerate and dump the projects of no values.

What does PMO stand for?

PMO stands for either Project, Program or Portfolio Management Office.

What does a PMO Do?

As stated above is serves as helping hands to an organization like

  • Governance.
  • Transparency.
  • Reusability
  • Delivery support
  • Traceability

What are the major functions of a PMO?

  • Training and Mentoring Project Team
  • Determining Projects & Portfolios Dependencies
  • Evaluation of Project & Programs at High-Level
  • High-level reports presenting to sponsor
  • Developing SOP’s
  • Implementing the standard procedures across the organization
  • Optimizing and managing resources for projects
  • Most important! Financial reporting at ROI

One Small Request:

Being a Project Management guy, I know how little time we have to play around on the internet. But if you have found this information useful then please share it to your colleague so that more people can get benefit from it. If you have any question then comment below and I am glad to take it.


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You can read more about  Project Management Interview Questions

 

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