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An Effective PMO

Posted on | February 1, 2008 | Comments Off on An Effective PMO

Organizations around the world are finally taking project management serious. With this, comes the need to organize project management which takes the form of a Project Management Office, or PMO for short, especially in medium to large size organizations. This is all good. What is bad is that some PMOs have become just another bureaucrat, bottleneck, rigid, ineffective group that serves the wrong purpose.

For a PMO to be effective it has to, first and foremost, have a policy of inclusion, knowledge sharing and of breaking silos. To do this, it has to have the support of the entire management team. The management team, many times, thinks that the PMO is only about saving cost; it is about staying in business. And, the PMO effort is a full time, value added function.

The PMO needs:

• Knowledge of the project investment status

• Status reports from all projects in the portfolio

• Plans and schedules from all projects in the portfolio

• Value linked to fiscal year strategic objectives

• An understanding of the organization’s strategic objectives

• Performance over time

• Executive support and proactive participation

• A common language among project sponsors

• A governance board to measure objectives

• A standard project management rigor and discipline with common tools

With the above information and tools the PMO can be effective by providing:

• Portfolio management support

• Information repository

• Rescues

• Mentoring

• Prioritization management

• Resource management

• Planning and forecasting

• Information management

• Processes and methodology

• Training in program/project management

• Accounting and financial analysis

• Knowledge management

• Assessments

• Program/project management certification

If your PMO group provides the above value added services I consider it an effective PMO. Don’t you think so…? Well, I do.


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