Need for Project Management Office (PMO)

Introduction

Delivering projects on time and budget is no easy task even for the most experienced in project management. This has been the reason for the emergence of project management offices which are seen as a solution to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve delivery timelines. The project management offices assist the IT head by providing the much needed structure for standardizing project practices and help in better project portfolio management. Because of the PMO the best practices and methodologies can be framed and repeatable processes set up for higher rate of project success.

PMO is not the magic formula for project success

But at the same time one cannot imagine that the PMOs are the magic formula for project success. They do not vanquish magically the project challenges; the main reason for this is, it is absolutely impossible to have a single solution to fix all the challenges and issues that might arise in the volatile environment.

Having said that it has been seen over time that there is strong connection between the maturity of the PMO division and the success rate of projects. This shows that over a period of time an organization with a well laid out PMO has a higher rate of executing successful projects than one with a relatively younger PMO. Most organizations establish PMO so as to improve the rate of project success and also to implement standard practices. The standard practices are especially important because of the quality certifications.

The PMO model to follow depends on the organizational culture

PMO models basically fall under two categories: a PMO which acts as a consulting partner and a central unit which allocates project managers to diverse organizational units. The PMO model to follow depends on the organizational culture, strengths, goals etc. A carefully planned and established PMO can help the CIOs in providing the strategic direction for the different IT projects and ensure the projects’ success. It can be safely said that it will take anything between three to five years to have an efficiently running PMO contributing to the organization’s success.

The key take-aways or contributions of the PMO irrespective of its size or model are:

  • Support: PMO provides guidance to the project managers from different business units to manage projects successfully.
  • Methodology: PMO develops a consistent project management process which can be followed by the different project teams.
  • Training: PMO ensures that the different project teams are part of the continuous training program designed so as to be in touch with the emerging trends.
  • Consulting: Provides the much needed internal consulting and advising for employees on the different best practices.
  • Tools: Maintains the project management tools repository for the use of the various project teams.
  • Portfolio Management: Helps to manage diverse projects by establishing a team of skilled project managers.

Conclusion

Hence it is important to understand that the benefits of PMO are not just about cost saving but much more.

Radhika Chittoor

15 years of experience in presales and marketing. I have helped companies set up their sales & marketing teams.