Organizational Benefits of a PMO

21.06.2011 0

I have had the opportunity of building two Project Management Offices (PMO’s) and each one has been different but kind of the same.  The similarities lie in the consistency, rigour, communication structure, tools and actions needed to support basic business operation and the delivery of projects.  The differences focused on what was needed for the organization.  The maturity of the organization dictated the development of the PMO.

Organizational maturity really makes the difference when one attempts to put structure together for a company.  There are questions and cultural issues that must addressed before any PMO initiative can grow legs.   For example – just the basic understanding of how project management can impact he health and growth of the business is an important consideration before any process or infrastructure can be considered.  If the company doesn’t understand what the profession of project management does, how it can improve operations, and why it drives customer satisfaction, then the road to PMO development is a long one.

If the company understands the need for governance, support for building a PMO can be an natural evolution.  For example – using consistent process becomes the organizational strategy for crafting solutions for the company’s customers.   Business Development and Operations are now working hand in hand to ensure that customer expectations are crafted right from the start.  This is one of the major benefits of building a PMO for the organization.  The company shifts and becomes solutions focused.

Another major benefit is the application of consistent process for project decisions.  Risks are routinely categorized and responses are formalized so that both positive and negative risks can be either mitigated or capitalized.  The organization’s management team decisions are now supported by the transparency provided by the consistent process of the PMO.  Project decisions are smoother – improving project execution.

The processes of the PMO often augment change management.  Having systems in place, dealing with risks, applying decision making tools, are all natural extensions for what the PMO can bring to the discipline of managing change.  If the company is about to embark on new directions or wishes to implement new strategies, having the PMO shepherd the process can really lessen the impact to the organization and its staff.