Skill Level Intermediate
- A Project Management Office, or PMO, is a business function responsible for ensuring the delivery of projects is as effective as possible. Occasionally, PMO may also refer to Program Management Office, where it's created to support a specific collection of projects, a program. Let's cover the essential items you need to know about PMOs. First, how do PMOs get created? In most cases, a PMO is created at department level. An IT PMO is one of the most common. Recently, there's been an increase in PMOs that are responsible for all business areas. Those are often referred to as Enterprise PMOs, or EPMOs. And they may exist instead of, or as well as, departmental PMOs. PMOs can also have specialist functions. While most provide support for how projects get done, helping to optimize everything from resource utilization to management of project investments, businesses may also have PMOs that support project methodology and process. Both traditional and agile. Training and development of project managers. And oversight or governance. Some businesses will also add other functions based on their project related needs. PMOs support many different stakeholder groups. It's one of the most complex elements of the function. They must assist project managers and their teams in the delivery of projects, business areas that act as sponsors, customers, and resource providers to assist in understanding and problem resolution, and business leaders to ensure their project related business priorities are met. Be aware. This variety of different roles and broad set of stakeholders can cause problems. Many PMOs struggle because they lack a clear mandate. Leadership hasn't stated the PMO's priorities, so showing business value is difficult. Fortunately, there's increasing recognition that PMOs are critical if projects are to be consistently successful. An effective PMO can be the difference between achieving the business' goals and objectives or missing them. Your organization may have at least one PMO, possibly several. Make sure you understand where they are, why they exist, and how they operate. Successful businesses need effective PMOs. That effectiveness requires everyone to understand their function.