PMO to ePMO – the maturity levels of a Programme Management Office

A mature Programme Management Office (PMO) function can provide a full picture of your change landscape through organisational breadth, timely, and transparent decision making and thereby ensuring that your change investments are maximised. 



Growing your PMO function – like a garden 


The flowers you plant today will blossom in the future. By taking care of your garden, they will come out every year and by planting a variety of flowers, you can enjoy them at different times of the annual cycle. 


An enterprise PMO (ePMO) function can be compared to the trees in your garden, giving it shape and boundaries. Individual projects are like the flowers. When they are in harmony with the overall layout, your garden will look well and balanced. 


An effective PMO function can ensure your business reaps the value of your investments, and thereby can ensure that: 


  • The PMO creates maximum value by helping project managers to be successful, as well as enabling senior managers to run the organisation effectively in taking key decisions. PMO assurance reduces the overall risk of the portfolio rather than duplicating what is already done. 
  • The investment in developing and running the PMO is focused on the areas of greatest benefits. Effort is spent simplifying, improving, and filling gaps where necessary, rather than re-inventing. 
  • The PMO is seen by stakeholders and project managers as a ‘critical friend’ helping you do the right things at the right time, rather than punishing you for missing critical milestones. They ensure that confidence is maintained in the overall change plan.  


However, if you neglect your change portfolio, several issues can arise: 


  • the value of change investments will be eroded 
  • confidence will decrease with rework and delays 
  • change will become irrelevant with the wider business 
  •  poor information will result in bad decisions 
  •  the cost of change will be higher than necessary.



Scaling your PMO … 


Our experts understand how PMO departments s operate, having real life understanding of what works well and what less so. To understand how to improve your PMO function, we have set out our thinking around the PMO journey and its maturity. 


We distinguish between three levels, combining process maturity with organisational breadth. There are different shades of each level depending on your change agenda.  


epmo graph explaining values and purpose


A fully matured PMO function may not be what you need right now if your PMO function is providing the insights you need to deliver your change agenda. However, you may want to look at our maturity assessment to see where you are today and where you might want to take your PMO.



 Your checklist to maturing your ePMO?


Project One has the expertise to support organisations in the journey of moving up the maturity curve and ultimately building an optimised, enterprise focused PMO function that is aligned to the size and complexity of your organisation. Our approach includes:


  1. Carry out a short, targeted maturity review to determine the current state of your PMO and the maturity level that you need to get to support your business strategy
  2. Design your target state PMO, informed by the maturity assessment carried out
  3. Develop and review project inventory for the whole organisation and understand inter-dependencies
  4. Define the prioritisation approach and define enterprise focused PMO policies, standards, processes/controls and reports
  5. Appoint senior project review board and prioritise projects
  6. Conduct resource planning based on prioritised project portfolio (you may also want to consider organising the capabilities in a ‘PMO Centre of Excellence’)
  7. Align governance processes/forums across the organisation
  8. Implement a common PMO Workspace tool
  9. Align and embed standardised portfolio processes/controls and reports, i.e., implement PMO policies and standards
  10. Introduce standard tools and PMO artefacts that underpin the delivery of all projects
  11. Embed continuous coaching and training of your PMO community
  12. Overall implementation of your PMO based on the agreed target state, running of the PMO service and enhancing the capabilities of your PMO team


We have an experienced team and comprehensive, adaptable tool kit to accelerate you through these steps.


To discuss further, please contact Nick Houlton

Mobile: 07716 075616 | email:

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