A Project Management Office (PMO) is a division of a company that supplies decision support information; even though it doesn’t make any decisions itself. Essentially, it acts as the spine of any company project or initiative.
A PMO supports project delivery mechanisms by making certain all projects in an organization are managed in a controlled way. Each PMO is unique, has distinct powers, duties and focus based on the business. In general, a PMO is responsible for the organizing of company projects, the development of project standards, project management strategies and training of the project staff, as well as the tracking and support of various individual projects.
Kinds of PMO
There are three general kinds of PMOs: Supportive, Controlling and Directive.
A Supportive PMO does what it says on the label: It provides a framework and supports individual projects on an as-needed basis. A Supportive PMO is there for managers and staff to lean on for ideas, best practices and resources.
A Controlling PMO plays a more active role than a Supportive PMO, directly affecting how projects are managed. This type of PMO enforces standards and best practices while tracking progress. A controlling PMO doesn’t get into the granular details of the project. This leaves some room for autonomy in individual projects.
A Directive PMO is the most involved type of PMO – directing, controlling and supporting the work in every single project. This kind of PMO drills down into every detail of a project, leaving little room for individual decision making. This kind of PMO is most often used in high-risk business environments with little room for error.
In addition to these kinds of PMOs, there are also internal- and external-facing PMOs. Internal PMOs in technology companies typically connect teams doing agile development and teams doing highly iterative development. They’re also standard in companies running large business process changes.
External PMOs play a similar role but also communicate with customers and stakeholders associated with the work being managed.
Reasons your company needs a PMO
A good place to begin when it comes to deciding whether you may need a PMO is to take a solid look at how your business functions and see if various parts of it are effectively cooperating across systems and groups; or if they function as silos with disparate systems and don’t often speak with each other.
If your business sounds like the latter, a PMO can certainly help. Also, if your company is looking to put any major projects or strategy shifts into place, a PMO might be a suitable solution.
With a PMO in place, your company can assure decisions are made based on good information using carefully established structures. A PMO can also increase transparency, support and traceability for information and processes.
At Thompson Technologies, we support our clients’ decision-making processes by supplying them with custom talent acquisition solutions. If your organization is currently looking for additional staffing to support its various projects, please contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance.