Project ManagementProject Management Office

PMO FAQs: Frequently Avoided Questions about PMOs

Is a PMO a truly valuable investment? Recently, there have been four multinational organizations that have gotten rid of PMOs in their entirety. Is this an indication of events to come? In a post for Voices on Project Management, Mario Trentim has compiled a list of five unavoidable questions to ask in order to get the right start and help decide if a PMO is a necessity:

  1. Is a PMO essential for this particular organization?
  2. What is the proposed value the PMO will bring?
  3. Does the PMO possess a business model?
  4. Who are the clients the PMO will work for?
  5. How will the impact of the PMO be measured?

To Tell the Truth…

A simple “yes” answer to these questions does not directly indicate the need for a PMO, but rather the understanding of the strategy, structure, and culture. When looking to the strategy, look to see if the project will be taking place in-house, rather than being outsourced. If project management is a core activity, a PMO will prove beneficial. A project-oriented organization is better equipped to utilize a PMO because its very design is established to improve project performance. A matrix organization on the other hand will challenge a PMO, because both operations and projects need to remain balanced. Looking to the culture is equally as important since change affects everyone. If PMO is viewed as an item to be rid of, then it is not even beneficial to attempt to integrate it into an organization.

If after all of these elements are understood the answer is still “yes,” then a PMO plan should be executed. Create a strategy and follow through, because in the right organization, a PMO is a truly wonderful asset.

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