This PDF from the Cranfield University School of Management highlights some of the who, what, whys and hows of the project management office. Breaking the services of a PMO into four distinct groups (Basic, Advanced Specialist, Consultancy and Advisory, and Strategic & Governance), the paper is valuable in helping anyone gain a better understanding of what differences exist in PMOs and how to best utilize one within a particular organization. The PDF explains, for instance, that many organisations would benefit from a PMO ““ and around 70 percent of large organisations already do have one. A PMO is a defining factor in orgasations that achieve increased project and programme success rates, and effectively reduce the risk of projects failing to deliver on time. The PDF also offers the suggestion of being clear about the reason behind a PMO in your organisation, the type of PMO needed based off of challenges, and how you'd like your staff to interact with it: Being clear about the business objectives for implementing a PMO or developing its role is essential if it is to deliver significant improvements in project performance and justify the cost. Which and how many of the four objectives we described at the start are relevant will depend on the business problems the PMO is intended to overcome. Once the problems are clear and agreed, the type and range of services required to address them can be defined. This will determine the type of PMO that is needed. Only then can the type of skill and expertise needed by the PMO staff be identified, roles defined and activities to deploy, manage and develop people to deliver the PMO services undertaken. Working in the PMO should be an opportunity for both individuals to develop their skills and knowledge and for the organisation to increase its project and programme management capabilities. But don't think that just because you have a PMO in place you are in the clear: as the paper explains, issues evolve. The PMO must be re-evaluated periodically in order to make sure that it is still satisfying the needs and dangers that the organisation faces.
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In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin considers a theory being discussed …