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What Does A Project Management Office (PMO) Do?

What Does A Project Management Office (PMO) Do?

In the previous post we were introduced to of project management office (PMO) and broadly looked at what it strives to achieve, what are its goals and types of PMO. In this post we will get into the details of, what does a project management office (PMO) do?

A PMO in enterprise business is in fact, structured and perceived as a department that oversees or get involved in project management activities across the departments of the business. These activities typically include project management training, coaching, governance, implementation, identifying need of project management for a given business problem, or determining the best practices to manage project planning, tracking, to create project template, project reports.

On the other hand, in case of small or medium enterprises, though PMO can take a formal shape but is represented by an individual or a small set of people. But even in smaller scale, PMO in SME can identify and address the same issues as in large enterprises and support business functions in managing projects better.

So broadly speaking what does project management office (PMO) tries to do – is to achieve following things

  • Advocate, champion for greater adoption of project management processes
  • Decide the rules of the games by creating common standard of policies, procedures for conducting project management in the organization
  • Highlight best practices of project management function and support project teams to follow these best practices
  • Be the center of excellence for project management function in the organization and serve as a GoTo entity for project management questions, issues or decisions
  • Simplify the project management processes so adaption becomes easier. Simplification can be achieved with automation of processes with project portfolio management software and tools
  • Provide necessary information for executive management and sponsors to take decisions regarding projects as well as be the agent for desired change in the organization

What Does A Project Management Office (PMO) Do?

A project management office (PMO) serves as a linchpin to make project management approach successful for a given organization. Many people consider it as support function. Fair enough! It does provide support for making project related decisions. So what kind of support does PMO provide?

1 Project Delivery Support PMO makes it simpler for project teams to do their things by cutting down on bureaucratic delays, ensuring project quality, enabling project teams with training, guidance
2 Building Reusable Components As a central project management authority, help project team to reuse project components, templates, or best practices rather than reinventing these every time
3 Traceability of Project Artifacts Building organization knowledgebase by organizing documents, maintaining project audit, reports decision rationale information. This ensures traceability of project artifacts
4 Project Governance Having checks and balances without making in it too bureaucratic to manage projects. The governance function involves auditing projects, conducting reviews. It also means defining clear roles and responsibilities and structure to ensure transparency and accountability.

The whole objective behind project governance is to make sure that the project related decisions are made by right resource by applying best of their minds with right information.

5 Communication & Transparency In order to enable most accurate decision making process, facilitate most relevant and appropriate information


In next post we will delve further into project management office functions and activities it has to perform on a day to day basis.

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Back2Basics – What is Project Management Office (PMO)
What Does Project Management Office (PMO) Really Do?

I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.