Project Management Office (PMO) and its Models – An Overview
Many organizations in spite of the increased number and complexity of projects implement projects that are not managed according to a formal project management methodology and instead apply ad-hoc processes even today that results in weak outcomes.
Seeking to solve this problem emerges a new structure called Project Management Office (PMO) in order to bring centralized coordination, strategic alignment, institutionalize project management practices, improve execution and reduce wasteful resources. The Project Management Office (PMO) is a group or department within an enterprise facilitate project success through standardizing projects, implementing best practice, mitigating project management risks, supporting effective project delivery. Effective and sustainable PMOs evidently are pivotal success factors and makes profound impact on the successful delivery of projects. This document gives an overview of various models and working mechanics of PMO, approach to designing and setting up a PMO, aligning and integrating within the organization.
Potential Goals of PMO
- Better alignment of project activity and business strategy and investments.
- Consistent adherence to a project management process and methodology.
- Improved collaboration and knowledge and best-practice sharing.
- Resource pool readiness, training and competency to meet evolving business needs.
- Optimized resource utilization and capacity management.
- Executive visibility to project, status, issues, risks, costs
Degree of Influence of PMO
There’s no one-size-fits-all PMO. They perform wide spectrum of activities based on degree of influence, organizational exposure or organization’s maturity in project management. The survey conducted in 2007 by Hobbs and Aubry, of 500 PMOs found considerable diversity and lack of consensus regarding the roles and terms that should be included in the structure of a PMO.
The descriptions of PMOs in the literature are often summarized in typologies comprising few models. There are more than 40 models in the literature. However, names and functions are common among multiple models. The most common typologies have three to five types, in which each type is a model of a PMO. The following three type model based on degree of control is often seen widely used by practitioners while designing their PMO.
The degree of control and influence that PMOs have on projects depend on the type of PMO structure within the enterprise; it can be:
- Supportive, with a consultative role
- Controlling, by requiring compliance
- Directive, by taking control and managing the projects
Enterprises based on the business need analysis and strategic goal of the client organization identifies and implement the required management structure.
In literature the above PMO model is in align with Englund, Graham & Dinsmore (2003) model.
Englund, Graham & Dinsmore (2003)  propose three PMO models.
The first, Project Support Office, provides internal consulting for project management activities, such as planning and scheduling, project management tools, and document management.
The second, Project Management Center of Excellence (PMCOE), includes functions aimed
more at assuring up-to-date methodologies and skills in project management, such as standardization of processes, identification of best practices, and training.
The third is Program Management Office, which promotes complete authority over the projects and responsibility for recruiting and developing project managers, project selection, and alignment of priorities with the business strategies.
It is also worthy to note that PMO evolves within the organization, indicative of the organization’s project management maturity. Along the competency continuum The PMO’s role
PMO Implementation Roadmap
The overview and deliverables of the five phases of PMO implementation roadmap and their deliverables are outlined below with a greater brevity.
1.Assessment and Strategy
Perform gap analysis to assess organizations current status of project management maturity.
Current State Assessment
PMO Strategy Proposal
Critical Success Factors (CSF)
Setting up of a PMO will be formalized
PMO Mission, Vision and Statement
Roadmap milestones and Rollout Schedule
PMO services catalogue
Resources assigned, develop methodology, processes, tools and key artifacts.
Project Management Procedures
Project Governance Framework
Training Plan and Execution
Identifying and Launching Pilot Projects, Ensure Compliance
PMO Pilot Launch
PMO Metrics collection and status reporting
Lessons Learned Documentation
Measuring PMO Effectiveness, implementing changes, overall capability assessment, develop long term plan
Project management Maturity Assessment
Monthly/quarterly PMO report
Aligning performance measures and Reward systems.
Creating a best fit PMO is only the first step but organizations often fail in making PMOs generate sustainable value.
Sustainable PMOs are resilient, future-ready to face new challenges, focus on value delivery agile and strategically aligned. Also, PMO for its effective operation, have to be equipped with comprehensive Management Information Systems (PMIS) that facilitate data collection, storage, access, analysis, and dissemination.