Project ManagementProject Management Office

Building a PMO: Four Key Considerations

The vision defines the direction in which the organization will go. The project management office (PMO) helps to make that vision 20/20. Kristyn Medeiros, writing for PM Hut, delves into the most effective ways that the PMO can realize the vision.

Questions to Ask

  1. What is the scope of departments/teams the PMO will interact with?
  2. Have key stakeholders or executives reviewed and validated the vision?
  3. Are the PMO goals aligned with the business objectives and annual Strategic plan?
  4. Is your vision consistent with the culture of the PMO?

The PMO may work with people from just IT or maybe everyone in the entire organization. Narrowing the range of departments in which there are ties of communication can help to focus on what the vision should embody.

The next element to consider is whether important stakeholders or executives have provided validation. Executive leadership may be reluctant to accept the PMO, but the vision could be the bridge to allow them to see the value. Executives can help to improve the validity of the metrics represented and perhaps even offer guidance as to what is lacking. This conversation amongst executives should include a blurb about how to connect all of these elements with the company’s culture.

Regarding the third consideration, keep in mind where the PMO would like to be five years down the line and how this aligns with where the organization wants or will be in five years. A common PMO goal is to transition from a cost center to a value center because they want to explicitly show the values to the organization. Showing that the PMO’s thinking aligns with the direction of the organization will help to persuade stakeholders to support the vision.

The final thought is to ensure that the vision is consistent with the culture of PMO. The amount of authority given to project managers sets the tone for the amount of respect and trust they will be granted. A more structured plan indicates a higher level of management maturity, which leads to a higher quality output. However, if a rigorous plan is not a part of company culture, then it will probably not do well, which indicates that a less evasive plan should be put into action. Another element to this thought is the approvals. Will the PMO be staffing itself or will executives be the force behind it? Is documentation required before a project begins? All these types of questions fall under the executive approval umbrella.

You want to not only look towards the betterment of the PMO, but also what sorts of implications that will have on the rest of the organization. You can read the original post here:

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