A Programme Management Office (PMO) is a key part of the delivery function of an organisation with responsibility for overseeing and governing projects, standardising delivery approaches and practices and ensuring that there is clarity on the status of each project in a portfolio. Although not an exhaustive list, some of these responsibilities are highlighted below.
At the heart of a good Programme Management Office is strong portfolio management where each project is reviewed and prioritised based on the vision and strategy of the company. The PMO has a full picture of the projects being undertaken, the dependencies between the projects, each projects status including risks and the tracking against plan for resources, budget and quality. A good PMO is fundamental to the successful delivery of the portfolio of projects.
There are many different thoughts on how a PMO function is sized and scaled, from some companies having dedicated PMO’s for just assurance or compliance; a good way to think of different types of PMO’s is based on the scale of support they are providing. Here we split by Project/ Programme, Portfolio and Enterprise PMO (ePMO).
Whilst each company’s Programme Management Office will be different and vary in terms of scope of service (typically based on their industry, company size, complexity of projects and level of delivery maturity), there are four common steps to achieving a high performing PMO.
The key to implementation and maturing of your Programme Management Office function is to be very clear on the services that your PMO is going to provide, the authority that it has in the delivery process and ensuring there is full stakeholder buy-in to the PMO. Working in the PMO is a specialist role, and whilst some PMO experts have come through the Project Management route, others have chosen PMO from the start of their careers.
Make sure that you have the right skilled people in place throughout your PMO, including a PMO Director, PMO Manager and PMO analysts. Finally, by having a senior executive as the sponsor or owner of the PMO, it will demonstrate the importance of the PMO to the organisation and give it further credibility.
At Project One, we set-up and operate Project and Programme Management Office functions: providing management of delivery plans, milestones, risks, issues, dependencies, costs and changes.
We scale our support from the Programme to Portfolio level – providing discrete operational PMO services through to ePMO services.
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