If you regularly use project management processes, chances are that you will soon be tired of drafting the fundamentals from scratch, making sure that everything falls under the company’s protocol, and verifying all the steps so that none of them forgoes the company’s rules and regulations.
This is where the Project management office (PMO) enters the scene. Companies, all over the world, have developed project management offices because of the growing affinity for project management and their reliance on the process for efficient delivery of products and services.
Companies, now, rely on PMOs to counter the problems encountered during project management. PMO not only adds to the efficiency of a project but also helps enhance the overall productivity of a team.
Before you decide to develop a PMO in your company, you have to understand what is PMO and what the term entails.
What does PMO mean?
What is PMO? What is PMO mean? What is a PMO manager? What is PMO in business? These are some of the questions that might arise in your mind when you first encounter the term Project Management Office (PMO).
Before we explain the details of what is PMO and learn the ins and outs of the term, let us look at its basics and understand the fundamentals of the term.
A project management office is an internal or external group or department of a company that identifies, maintains, and ensures that the standards of project management are followed all across the organization.
The office is in charge of ensuring that the company’s policies and goals are kept in mind during the execution of a project.
Brief History of Project Management Office
The project management office has been around since the 17th century. In the olden times, project offices were a type of national governance for the agricultural industry.
The term ‘Project Management Office’ was first used in 1939, the concept later evolved. 1950s PMO was a predecessor of the modern one. The contemporary project management office has developed over time and taken its present shape where it aims to resolve targeted issues regarding project management.
What Does A PMO Do?
A PMO aims to help companies efficiently manage their projects and deliver the best services to their clients.
The standards set by the project management office are not only followed but are repeated again and again for every project taking place in the company. The guidelines are set and maintained by this office.
By maintaining these standards, they make sure that the projects are completed efficiently and that there are no hiccups during the process.
The reports published by them help companies improve their methods, identify the issues in project management processes, make amendments wherever necessary and perfect their project management process.
They also help make sure that the goals of the companies are met. It is also a means to improve the working of the project management processes.
The efficiency of a PMO is undeniable, statistics show that the percentage of PMOs in companies has almost doubled in the last decade. According to PM solutions research, 85% of companies had a project management office in 2016. Additionally, 30% of companies intend to develop and implement the plan in their company.
The number climbed to 89% in 2020. Furthermore, the figures rise to 95% when it comes to companies generating a revenue of more than $1B.
It also helps organize metrics so that PMs are always aware of the latest statistics. This office is in charge of helping companies to deliver value to the stakeholders.
Now that you know the answers to what is PMO?, what is PMO mean? And what does it do? Let us dive deeper into the subject.
What Is PMO In Business?
PMO has a wide range of responsibilities in businesses. Some of them include:
- Planning And Management Of Projects: Making sure that the project goals align with those of the company and defining the criteria of the project.
- Standardizing Best Practices: Ensuring that the standards of project management are maintained and followed.
- Maintaining Work Culture: They make sure that a harmonious culture is in place through training, communication, etc.
- Managing Resources: They are in charge of allocating resources based on the requirements of a project.
- Helping in Efficient Management: They help efficiently manage projects by keeping archives and helping PMs plan better.
Types of PMOs:
Moving on to the types of PMOs, three different types of them help PMs in different ways. These include:
- Supportive PMO: They have a low degree of control. This type of office provides all kinds of supportive material to PMs to help them efficiently complete a project. They offer help whenever needed and offer help however they can.
- Controlling PMO: This type of office is more controlling. They have the authority to ensure compliance with rules, regulations, and standards. They are authorized by the top management and have some degree of control.
- Directive PMO: They have the highest degree of control. It assigns a manager to the project who analyzes the whole process and ensures the project is completed efficiently.
Personnel In The Project Management Office
On average, staff in the project management office have 10 years of experience. Also, almost 45% of them are certified Project Management Professionals. A typical office has 9-10 members.
In addition to PMO managers, they have a director who oversees the whole office, supporting members who assist the managers, and trainers who train the staff.
Who is a PMO Manager?
You might be curious as to what is a project management office manager and what does he do? A manager is an official figure who oversees the project. He maintains the quality and value of the project.
The office manager is in direct contact with the project manager and the executives. He supervises the project and reports to the top management.
An organization can have a single office manager overseeing all the projects or a ‘Head of the project management office’ who assigns managers to individual projects.
These managers keep a keen eye on the processes taking place in project management. To make the process smoother and perfect, they closely analyze financial reports, introduce modifications, advise better plans for management, and also, ensure that the process is properly documented.
What Are The Functions Of An Efficient Project Management Office?
A project management office has a lot on its hands and has to deal with all the projects in the company. As such, it is a vital part of the project management process.
The following functions are performed by them:
- It makes sure that the PMs have the information they need and are making the right decisions for their project
- Provide all the material that might come in handy for future decision making
- Extract reusable information from previous projects and help devise the perfect project management plan
- Enhance efficiency by streamlining processes, offering training, and maintaining the quality of the deliverables
- Document the developments in the project for future references
Benefits of a Good Project Management Office
A good project management office can help a company develop exponentially. A good office has the following benefits:
- Helps you finish your project on time by notifying you of the deadlines and milestones.
- Keeps you updated on the latest developments and notifies you of issues so that you can task action in time.
- Helps strategize the allocation of resources so that they are used efficiently
- Provides clarity on the goals of the project. A bird’s eye view helps them analyze the processes.
- Makes sure that all the departments are synergizing and are producing better results.
- Help communicate and collaborate with different departments within the same company.
Moreover, they can also help you reduce your budget, produce better results, and enhance customer satisfaction.
How Would You Know If Your Company Needs A Project Management Office?
PMO is one of the ways you can ensure the success of your projects. If you are contemplating whether to include it in your company or not or if you are unable to decide whether you really need it, then look at the following questions. If the answer to most of these questions is ‘No’ then you should probably consider developing a project office in your company.
- Are you completing your projects in time?
- Are the goals of the project in line with the organizational goals?
- Can your stakeholders visualize the processes in project management?
- Do you have a standard process in place for the execution of a project management plan?
- Can you trace the success of your project accurately?
- Are all your departments working in harmony?
An efficient project management office will turn all the negatives of the project management processes into profits. There is no underside of them, you will only improve your performance and hence the profitability of your company.
PMO Or No PMO? Choice Is Yours
If you are looking for ways to enhance your project management processes then getting a project management officer should be one of your first choices.
This department can help you manage your resources more efficiently, reduce your budget, improve productivity, and provide seamless communication between different departments.
A Project management office is your gateway to increased productivity and more effective results. Get one now and see the results yourself!