There’s no such thing as ONE size fits all.

There is generally NO consensus on PMOs. PMO’s are based on standards. There is NO global PMO standard because there is no consensus.

Your experience in PMO is no doubt going to be different to mine. So why do some people think there is a way of having a one size fits all PMO?

“The PMO was originally conceived as a means of capturing and disseminating good project management practices throughout an organisation”.

Yet today more than ever, the role of the PMO continues to expand and now includes analysis, investment planning, communication, workforce management, decision support and so much more.

The PMO is slowly becoming considered the ‘centre of excellence’ for project execution. As well as the management lens when it comes to informed decision making.

PMOs are an essential element in delivering value….How a PMO is structured within your organisation, the support it may receive and the tools can make or break how effective it can be.

Choosing and implementing the proper PMO is very important for your business.  This is where ‘SIZE’ matters!

Consultants coming in with ‘literature’ does not always fit the reality. There is a gap between consultant dominated literature and organisational reality.

Planning for a new PMO requires thoughtful planning at the outset. Building a successful PMO is like building a house, you need to have the foundations set up correctly, ensure they are solid…before moving to the next step.

As satisfying as it may be to establish a successful PMO (and success can mean different things different people and the organisations they work for); Yet the question remains, how to keep them going? It appears that keeping a PMO going is not so common. Executives need projects, project management, and PMOs…yet, the PMO often struggles to survive. Why?

Here are some reasons:

  •  No executive stakeholder to sponsor
  • No vision or defined mission
  • Try to do too much all at once
  • Different expectations around the PMO’s role
  • Not knowing where you are in terms of maturity
  • Hard to fund and continue funding

Where are you now?

  •  To set up a successful PMO, it’s important to first understand where your organisation fits in terms of maturity and then to organise a PMO structure accordingly.
  • Depending on your organisation’s needs and readiness to adopt this change and what if anything exists, you may need a more or less advanced PMO.
  • No matter what PMO you choose, having a clear purpose for the PMO, clear vision, defined strategy and sponsorship is critical.
  • Remember ‘Best practice’ means different things to different people.

Before we can talk about setting or upgrading your PMO, we need to know why your organisation needs a PMO and what type? Because one type of PMO does not fit all organisations.

Some questions to ask:

  • What type of PMO do you need?
  • What the PMO is trying to do?
  • What is its purpose?
  • How it will operate?
  • Who are the stakeholders and sponsors?
  • What is the culture of your organisation?
  • Are there are other PMOs and how are they organised?
  • Who will the Project Managers report to?
  • Are there any other major change programs happening at the same time?
  • How much effort is required?

What needs to be changed?

  • What are your pain points?
  • How often are your projects failing or missing go live dates?
  • Are costs out of control?
  • Is reporting incorrect or out of date?
  • Are there resource bottlenecks? Are resource pools over-allocated?

What will your PMO do?

A successful PMO can make a major contribution to better project outcomes and decision making for your organisation. Treat the PMO establishment as an organisational change program and you are more likely to succeed.

  • Adopt a phased approach and take small steps.
  • To support your efforts and gain efficiency, re-evaluate regularly, look at experts with practical hands on experience in delivering results, not just consultants who preach theory.

Is there a need for change in your organisation or perhaps you want to set up PMO’s in your organisation?