Project management offices, or PMOs, were developed in the 1800s to oversee the agricultural industry. Over the years, their functions changed and they turned into the type of department that we see employed today across all kinds of organizations. Read on to learn more about project management offices and how they can help your business.
Project Management Offices Explained
1. What is a PMO?
A project management office is a department within an organization that standardizes and administers project management within the organization. They develop project management best practices for a business and help to ensure that they are implemented and adhered to.
2. Main Functions of a PMO
In addition to standardizing project management processes within an organization, a project management office is also responsible for data collection, reporting, and ensuring that projects get completed on time and within budget.
After project management best practices are developed and standardized, PMOs help to guide project managers through consulting, mentoring, and training. PMOs act as the main source of support and information on all projects within a business.
3. Benefits of PMOs
A project management office helps to align projects with the long-term objectives of a business. Project managers are able to make more efficient decisions that align with the future goals of the organization under the guidance of a PMO.
Projects are delivered much more successfully under the guidance of a project management office. The PMO closely monitors the progress of all ongoing projects within an organization and notifies project managers when a project is facing a budget, scheduling, or scope issue. This allows project managers to act quickly to get a project back on track before issues turn into critical problems.
A project management office centralizes everything related to projects within a business so that productivity is increased and more projects are completed on time and within the budget. When a business has a PMO, the organization performs better as a whole, and clients are happier.
4. Different Types of PMOs
A Directive PMO is the strictest type of PMO. This style of project management office maintains tight control on all aspects of project management and does not allow anyone to stray from the defined project management procedures and requirements. Directive PMOs are common in organizations where projects are highly regulated and high risk.
Supportive PMOs are the opposite of Directive PMOs. They are the most hands-off type of project management offices. A Supportive PMO primarily consults a business about project management best practices and provides ideas, but does not strictly regulate whether an organization follows the practices or not.
A Controlling PMO is the mid-range type of project management office. This kind of project management office provides procedures, templates, and reporting for an organization. The Controlling PMO, as the name implies, has some level of control over how the procedures are implemented, but does not have complete control like a Directive PMO. This is the most common type of project management office.
5. How to Decide If You Need a PMO
To decide if your business needs a PMO, first look at how departments within the organization are working together. If different parts of the business are communicating well and working together smoothly, and projects are getting completed on time and under budget, then a PMO may not be necessary. If different departments rarely communicate and operate very independently, and projects consistently pass their deadline or exceed the budget, then a project management office can definitely help the organization function more harmoniously.