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How to build a Project Management Office

Posted: Wed 20 Apr 2011 3:51 pm
by eric.shaw
In today’s complex company environment new projects are continuously being developed as organizations seek new ways to lessen expenses, enhance processes, increase productivity, and build their bottom line. Managing these diverse projects along with their individuals, resources, technology, and communication is really a challenging endeavor for which the risk of failure is frequently far too high. An powerful solution, created to establish a a lot more centralized management structure for large groups of projects, will be the Project Management Office (PMO). The PMO gives organizations with an infrastructure of folks, procedures, and tools to obtain powerful project management by leveraging project management standards, allocating resources, establishing consistent performance measures, and reducing duplication of efforts.

There are several benefits to establishing an effective PMO. 1st, the PMO supplies a framework for consistently managing projects through a regular methodology while ensuring the projects are aligned with corporate objectives and techniques. Project managers have clear lines of responsibility whilst coordinating folks, processes, and tools with one yet another and by doing so, steer clear of both gaps and overlaps between projects and decrease or eradicate duplication of effort. Standardization and repeatability afford an organization better communication, reduced project price, improved resource management, a lot more accountability, improved top quality, greater forecasting, and less overhead related to project managers.

Enlist Executive and Management Support
The first step in establishing a PMO is gaining executive and management support. This step relies heavily on organizational change management (OCM) as it demands a potentially considerable shift in organizational culture together with roles and responsibilities. Regardless of the difficulties and resistance to alter, this step is the foundation upon which a profitable PMO ought to be built. As with any shift in organizational structure, policy, or procedure, favor ought to be gained via justification for the modifications in terms of cost benefit and return on investment (ROI).

Decide the Structure and Develop the Team
The next step in constructing a PMO would be to decide the structure and develop the team. There’s no defined template for PMO structure as every single organization brings its own variables to consider. Some manage all aspects of the projects assigned under them like scheduling, budgets, resourcing, human capital, oversight, and communication. Other people might strictly coordinate these functions with most of the support coming from adjacent departments. The keys to determining the right structure and team members for the PMO are understanding one of the most powerful way they can co-exist within the organization and discovering the proper balance between the PMO, organizational culture, roles and responsibilities, and management style. Some issues to think about in establishing the structure and developing the PMO team include: availability of resources; existing project management standards and methodologies; existing roles and responsibilities; the politics of the organization; project size and volume; and present project management troubles.

Develop and Document Standards
When the structure and team members have been determined, it is time to develop and document the PMO standards, practices, and methodologies for project management. These standards will enable for consistency across the organization and its portfolio of projects. They’ll also comprise a huge portion of the training that projects managers and staff will obtain in the next step. Standardization is also an essential part of allowing an organization to compare a variety of projects and allocate resources where and when they’re essential.

Identify Abilities and Train the Staff
Once the development of project management standards and methodologies is complete, the PMO need to identify the proficiency levels and skill sets of it project managers and staff as a way to determine what training is essential. Some of this information will likely be evident as a result of reviewing the statuses of current projects. Significantly of the training content may also be based on the standards, practices, and methodologies that had been defined in step #3. The PMO really should also establish an ongoing training program. In a PMO it really is inevitable that staff members will come and go and organizational standards will alter and evolve. A training program will make certain that all new employees receive training on those standards and existing employees remain conscious of any modifications.

Measure Success and Continuously Improve
Now that the PMO structure is finalized, project management standards are established and communicated, and personnel are trained, the focus of the PMO need to shift to assessing and measuring success. This point in time marks the initiation of progress and performance reporting based on standardized tools, templates, and methodologies. Even so, it also marks the beginning of a continuous method improvement cycle along with a transition from PMO deployment to operational sustainment. As the PMO evolves, project team members should maintain an awareness of the metrics by which their projects are measured along with how method effectiveness is determined. There must be a concerted effort to identify processes which need improvement. When identified, improvement measures need to be developed and implemented.

The establishment of an powerful PMO is beneficial to any organization which manages a portfolio of projects. When planning and developing a PMO it’s imperative that it is accomplished in a manner which compliments the existing structure or the organization. This will enable the company to gain maximum benefit and to do otherwise could be counter-productive. Since every single organization is different, the optimal structure for the PMO need to be developed based on numerous considerations and variables. The capability of a PMO to manage projects by way of consistent and repeatable standards and methodologies brings numerous positive aspects. It supplies the organization with accountability, continuity, simplified oversight, along with the capacity to measure project success a lot more successfully. An efficient PMO can be a catalyst for higher efficiency as it makes it possible for an organization to do far more quality work with fewer resources and much less risk. The result of these positive aspects is an organization that may significantly boost its project success rate.

Re: How to build a Project Management Office

Posted: Wed 20 Apr 2011 4:36 pm
by MattHills
Thanks Eric - this is a clear and concise overview of setting up a PMO for a portfolio, department or organisation.

I'd just like to point out that the steps listed aren't necessarily sequential and setting up the PMO is likely to take a number of iterations through these steps, each driven by a set of targets for the PMO to aim towards. It may take months or years (depending on the organization, culture, leadersip, budget etc) for the PMO to be delivering its full remit.

Thanks again.
Matt Hills
http://thePMOprogramme.wordpress.com