PMO is an abbreviation for Project Management Office – an organizational unit which defines and maintains project management standards within an organization. It can be a separate department or a group ofpeople selected to perform the PMO’s roles. The main goal of PMO is to achieve better results in managing projects by sharing experience, standardizing repetitive activities and ensuring proper governance through common controlling.
There are different types of PMO, depending on what expectations it is supposed to fulfill. The decision of choosing the PMO type should be made by the top management of the organization. There are many questions behind this decision – the most important are: why the organization seeks for PMO, what is the company’s project management maturity level, what resources are available, etc. The type and role of PMO should be clearly communicated within the organization in order to avoid any misunderstandings. The most common types are:
- SUPPORTIVE PMO which provides consultancy for the project managers, and encourage application of best practices and sharing experience among project managers
- CONTROLLING PMO cares for the administrative aspects of projects, requiring from project managers proper reporting,
- DIRECTIVE PMO plays active role in project management by taking control of the projects and managing them.
Most PMOs base their standards on the most common project management methodologies such as PRICE2 or the best practices of PMBOK Guide. Usually they are customized to suit the company’s expectations, possibilities and limitations. Good PMOs regularly review their performance and continuously improve their processes.
Interesting articles and resources
Why you need a project management office
The Project Management Office (PMO): A Quest for Understanding
The survey of reasons for establishing PMO and their influence on PMO operational success