Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar iconNot recorded
Adobe PDF icon

The Three Different Types of Project Management Offices

~ By John Reiling

Project manager shaking hands

There are three basic types of Project Management Office (PMO) organisations, varying in the degree of control and influence they have on projects within the organisation. You will need to determine which type you need to establish in order to have an effective project office.

The three types of PMOs include:

1. Supportive PMO

The Supportive PMO generally provides support in the form of on-demand expertise, templates, best practices, access to information and expertise on other projects, and the like. This can work in an organisation where projects are done successfully in a loosely controlled manner and where additional control is deemed unnecessary. Also, if the objective is to have a sort of "clearing-house" of project management information across the enterprise to be used freely by project managers, then the Supportive PMO is the right type.

2. Controlling PMO

In organisations where there is a desire to "rein in" the activities, processes, procedures, documentation, and more - a controlling PMO can accomplish that. Not only does the organisation provide support, but it also requires that the support be used. Requirements might include adoption of specific methodologies, templates, forms, conformance to governance, and application of other PMO controlled sets of rules. In addition, project offices might need to pass regular reviews by the controlling PMO, and this may represent a risk factor on the project. This works if a) there is a clear case that compliance with project management organisation offerings will bring improvements in the organisation and how it executes on projects, and b) the PMO has sufficient executive support to stand behind the controls the PMO puts in place.

3. Directive PMO

This type goes beyond control and actually "takes over" the projects by providing the project management experience and resources to manage the project. As organisations undertake projects, professional project managers from the PMO are assigned to the projects. This injects a great deal of professionalism into the projects, and, since each of the project managers originates and reports back to the directive PMO, it guarantees a high level of consistency of practice across all projects. This is effective in larger organisations that often matrix out support in various areas, and where this setup would fit the culture.

The best type is very specific to the organisation, culture, and history of what works and what does not. But the objectives are - more or less - to:

  1. Implement a common methodology
  2. Standardise terminology
  3. Introduce effective repeatable project management processes
  4. Provide common supporting tools
  5. Ultimately, the objective is to improve levels of project success within the organisation

Being aware of these types can help you and your organisation more easily accomplish this.


For more informative articles around the project management field, see the PMcrunch - www.pmcrunch.com - website. PMcrunch provides fresh perspectives on the world of project management in the areas of certification, online project management, project management process, project management templates, and soft skills.


Advertisement


Comments (1)

Topic: The 3 Different Types of Project Management Offices
5/5 (1)
Gravatar
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
8th July 2014 8:53am
Noel Peries (Bath) says...
As a PMO specialist, I agree with the three different types of PMO listed. To move from a supportive PMO to a directive PMO the organisation/department needs the buy in from the Head of that function and the PMO need to be able to implement the right tools (i.e PPM) that allow capacity/resource mgmt, budget tracking and informed MI that allow for informed decision making to a portfolio of projects.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
1500
Type the word for the number 9.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

My Story: Working Smarter; Not Harder

Woman thinking with a light bulb drawn on a blackboard

When you realise that you have the power to change your beliefs and remove a limiting factor that has been constraining you, you have an AHA! moment.

Four Steps to Project Time Management

Man pointing at an alarm clock

The four steps outlined in this article will help you better define and measure the activities that make up your project timeline.

How to Initiate a Six Sigma Project

Six Sigma diagram scheme concept

Although one cannot have a project-specific vision right from the very beginning of a Six Sigma initiative, you can develop a comprehensive viewpoint.

Estimating Project Costs

Money and a calculator

Tips and advice for estimating project costs, including three point estimating and Monte Carlo Simulation in MS Excel.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Duncan commented on…
PMP Exam Day Tips
- Fri 29 April 7:01am

Edward commented on…
PMP Exam Day Tips
- Thu 28 April 7:49pm

Jim Wall commented on…
The Elements of a Good Feasibility Study
- Thu 21 April 11:29pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Interview Presentation - PM Scenario https://t.co/TtXbSxCCzS #pm #projectsmart about 1 day ago

Funny Friday! https://t.co/OkL5EvBbTt about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Re: Top 10 Tips for Better Project Management https://t.co/52nER4viTu #pm #projectsmart about 2 days ago