Not All PMO’s Are the Same and Why

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Project ManagementPS Best Practices

How a PMO improves consistency and efficiency

In a Professional Services organization, one of the keys to improving your bottom line is consistency and efficiency in how projects are delivered. A Project Management Office (PMO) can help you do this. However, a PMO is often associated with negative connotations such as additional process, resources, and cost that if not implemented to benefit your unique business model, culture, and processes can negatively impact your bottom line. Whether your organization is large or small, a healthy balance can be found and gain benefit from a PMO.

We have defined four types of PMOs and how each can benefit your organization depending on where you are in this journey and what you need to achieve.

Basic PMO

The Basic PMO is a no-frills PMO and can be thought of as the “starter” PMO. This type of PMO is meant to establish standards through templates and process guidance. This PMO is easy to start up with low overhead. The tradeoff is missing accountability and compliance measures.

Mixed PMO

The Mixed PMO is focused on standards and measures such as standard templates for project deliverables and project reviews to capture project health and project success with a designated PMO lead. The best person for this role is typically a project manager, who is also billable. In a world of choices and priorities, it’s easy for PMO responsibilities to take a backseat to revenue generating work. This shifts the PMO to focus on key and critical projects, and may impact compliance among all projects.

Transparent PMO

The Transparent PMO includes putting place standards, processes, success measures and compliance reviews with a focus on metrics and publishing results that people can executive management can potentially get at the touch of their fingers. You drive accountability by the fact that you’re publishing objective measures and results from the PMO. The plethora of metrics possible and the time to collect and publish are the challenges in this PMO model.

Modern PMO

The Modern PMO includes all of what we have discussed up to now. The next step in this journey is to take advantage of technology, such as a PSA solution, and controls to support less administration/oversight. With a Modern PMO and technology at your fingertips, you will have a more holistic view of the project, not pieces, parts, and artifacts in a consumable fashion with focus on accountability and compliance.

So what does this all really mean?

A standard PMO doesn’t exist anymore. A PMO is what you need it to be to support your business model, your culture, how you work, and goals for growth and profitability.

You can learn more by watching our webinar “Project Management Oversight And The Need For A PMO” or downloading our whitepaper “The Modern PMO.”

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