To achieve strategic goals, business leaders constantly seek to bridge the gap between strategy and performance. Boosting execution capabilities through the creation of a project management office helps streamline the way organizations manage their business and, therefore, achieve better project results. In this article, we explore the benefits of the Project Management Office (PMO) and the different types.
Benefits of a PMO
Standardization: Standardization can help project managers by establishing rules for how they should complete a task. At the same time, it can help management compare the performance of project managers.
Increase in project success rate: When the project office is well implemented, the success rates of projects increase accordingly, as it begins to be conducted in a more organized manner and with better management of resources. According to a Finding PM solutions, 85% of companies had a PMO in 2016, up 5% from 2014 results. They also found that 30% of companies without a PMO plan to create one. Indeed, the creation of the PMO has proven to be effective in improving project success.
Knowledge management: Centralizing data across the organization can make it easier for teams to find the information they need. Knowledge management also maintains visibility into project details.
This visibility can be useful for communicating issues between project teams and management, as it allows them to work together to resolve issues based on actionable data.
Support for project managers: It is the responsibility of the project office to monitor the progress of activities, control resources and track information. Without a PMO, these responsibilities end up falling on the project manager themselves, which leads to errors.
Having a PMO is a big help for project managers because they can focus on more specific issues regarding project progress and increase their dedication to activities that add value to the end product.
Effective resource management: A PMO centralizes the best practices of the projects within the same direction so that everything is more organized and efficient. With process efficiency becoming the norm, there is increased productivity and better targeting of resources.
Better products: When projects are executed inefficiently, disorganized and with an overworked manager, the chances of the end product not going as planned are much higher. A PMO helps avoid this scenario, acting as a help-and-control center that checks for disorganization and inefficient processes.
Some of the other benefits of having a PMO are, but not limited to:
Improved customer satisfaction and employee productivity to increase business results
Promote transparency and efficiency in financial reporting to promote leadership
Align business strategy with investment so level of success is measured
Apply standard practices in line with best practices followed worldwide
Ensure long-term savings and return on investment (ROI) for all training and mentoring
The PMO provides project management across the organization
The PMO acts as a bridge between senior management and other teams to improve project communication
The PMO manages project interdependencies and can be helpful in training project managers and team leaders by promoting improved skill sets.
It is obvious that the PMO is a very important structure within companies. In addition to all of the above, a PMO can make recommendations, review and document projects, thereby creating a foundation for your company’s initiatives and simultaneously managing the organizational portfolio.
3 types of PMO – John Reiling
There are three basic types of PMO organizations, varying in the degree of control and influence they have over projects within the organization. You will need to determine which type you need to establish in order to have an effective project office. The three types of PMO include:
The supporting PMO typically provides assistance in the form of on-demand expertise, templates, best practices, access to information and expertise on other projects, and more. This can work in an organization where projects are carried out in a loosely controlled manner and additional control is deemed unnecessary.
Also, if the goal is to have some kind of “clearinghouse” of project management information across the company for project managers to use freely, then the supporting PMO is the right kind of thing. .
In organizations where it is desired to “own” activities, processes, procedures, documentation, etc., a control PMO can achieve this. Not only does the organization provide support, but it also demands that the support be used.
Requirements may include adoption of specific methodologies, templates, forms, compliance with governance, and application of other sets of rules controlled by the PMO. Additionally, project offices may need to pass regular reviews by the controlling PMO, which can be a risk factor for the project.
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It works if a) it is clear that compliance with the project management organization’s bids will lead to improvements in the organization and the way it delivers projects, and b) the PMO has sufficient executive support to stand behind the controls that the PMO puts in place.
This type goes beyond control and “supports” projects by providing the project management experience and resources to manage the project. As organizations take on projects, professional PMO project managers are assigned to the projects.
This injects a lot of professionalism into the projects and, since each of the project managers originates from and reports to the managing PMO, it ensures a high level of consistency of practice across all projects. This is effective in large organizations that often organize support across a variety of areas and where this setup fits the culture.