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What Is Project Management Office (PMO)

PMO: Every business depends on projects to deliver value to customers. After all, it is the result of this process that creates products and services to meet market demands. 

That’s why many organizations have an entire department dedicated to the task. The benefits it brings to business are so many that it has increased the demand for project management specialists.

What Is Project Management Office (PMO)

Also called “project office,” the Project Management Office (PMO) is an organizational structure that aims to standardize governance and project management processes. 

Governance is a set of norms and practices aligned with the business objectives and the organization’s values, thus guiding the internal processes.

Another definition of PMO is that of the Project Management Institute (PMI), which sees the project office as a strategic axis necessary to achieve organizational excellence through optimizing management, governance, and leadership practices. The acronym PMO is also used to refer to a position within the project department.

Three Types Of PMO

There are other subcategories for a project office, but you need to know the main types of PMOs found in an organization:

Support PMO

It has a more advisory character. He guides project managers from other departments and recommends methodologies, techniques, and tools. 

The support PMO also organizes all project documentation to gather lessons learned from previous activities. 

Organizations still maturing in project management begin to implement PMOs through this type of office.

Control PMO

It is responsible for guiding and evaluating whether project managers follow governance standards. For this, the control PMO must offer training to managers, addressing good practices, work methods, and tools.

After training, the project office performs an audit to identify which rules are being followed in the process. It also sets a quality standard and monitors the project portfolio.

Directive PMO

It has even greater control than the previous PMO type. It is responsible for directing the organization’s resources to carry out the projects and defining which managers will work on each one.

It also unites the advisory PMO’s functions by promoting the organization’s project management methodology.

The Roles Of A PMO

According to PMI, the functions of a PMO are:

  • Define standards, methodologies, and processes;
  • Define metrics that should be monitored;
  • Make performance reports;
  • Establish, monitor, and update a project’s schedule, budget, and scope;
  • Distribute information to the departments of an organization;
  • Direct resources;
  • Integrate projects;
  • Manage risks;
  • Think of solutions to problems that may arise in projects.

For you to have a better idea of ​​what the day-to-day life of someone who works in a project office is like, let’s delve into some of the functions of a PMO:

Establish And Guide Project Management Processes

Project management processes are the set of activities required to achieve an objective. They are needed to create standardization within organizations.

Project management processes are divided into six groups, according to the PMBOK: 

  1. Initiation 
  2. Planning 
  3. Execution 
  4. Monitoring 
  5. Control 
  6. closure
  7. Demand management

The PMO must control project requests within an organization, that is, balance the number of initiatives with the team’s availability so that projects follow schedule and budget. 

For this, the PMO uses two instruments:

  • Capability map: gives a view of team allocation and what each team or collaborator can do to contribute to the project;
  • Project portfolio: list of all projects under development in the company.
  • Choose and promote project management methods.

In addition to defining the methodologies, the Project management office must train project managers to use them.

Set Priorities Between Projects

The PMO is responsible for defining which initiatives should be prioritized based on criteria such as:

  • Cost-benefit
  • Urgency
  • Relevance to the business
  • The effort required for its realization
  • Impact generated 

The Benefits Of PMO For Companies

From what you’ve read, you can see the benefits that a project office brings to a company. Here we highlight the main ones:

  • Establish a consolidated project management methodology that helps the company achieve business objectives;
  • Transparency and centrality of information;
  • Creation of a history of successes and failures to guide future projects;
  • Error control and reduction;
  • Centralized and optimized management of resources;
  • Strategic alignment of projects with the organization’s objectives.

PMO software is a tool that will help organize time, resources, and reports and facilitate collaborative work between teams.

Also Read: Future Of Work: Learn About The Leading Market Trends

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