PMO 101: The Basics

PMO is one of the many acronyms in the world of Project Management. Let’s look at some of the basics of PMO.

PMO stands for Project Management Office. PMOs have expanded in popularity over the last decade, and the number of PMOs continue to rise looking into the future of business.

What are the basics of PMO? What is the role of a PMO, and what purpose does it serve in business?

Definition of PMO

A PMO (Project Management Office) is an internal or external team that defines and maintains project management standards across an organization. PMOs are responsible for maintaining best practices and documenting project status and strategy in one place.

The PMO is the keeper of documentation, guidance, and metrics for project execution, ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget.

What is the role of a PMO

A PMO is essential if your organization has several cross-functional projects operating simultaneously. Depending on the size and scope of projects, a successful PMO would be an ideal mix of people, tools, and processes.

The PMO has the following responsibilities:

Select the right projects

The PMO Manager should be part of the top leadership team, in order to have insight in the overall strategic goals of the business. Furthermore, the PMO should be choosing the right blend of projects for the organization. These projects should align with the strategic goals. This involves creating policies, processes, and workflows to define and manage all projects.

Champions project management

The PMO must keep employees updated with regular communication and training. This includes maintaining a shared project culture, uniform work techniques, and defining project metrics and KPIs.

Performs effective resource management

A PMO should define roles and responsibilities for project delivery, and manage priorities based on budgets and project timelines. In addition, they will train and coach employees on project management methodologies and frameworks, to ensure project management happens in a streamlined way across the organization.

Mobilize project tools

PMOs curate work management tools, templates, and software to create a reliable repository of project data that results in better decision-making.

The difference between a Project Manager and a PMO

To learn the basics of PMO, one needs to understand the difference between a Project Manager and a PMO.

These 2 roles are related, yet vastly different. While a Project Manager is an individual taking care of a particular project from start to finish, a PMO is a team of specialists who work at an organizational level.

The functions of a Project Manager include defining project goals, data gathering, task scheduling, and managing the project’s costs, budgets, and resources.

However, the PMO is bigger in scope and implementation. Led by a PMO Manager, it is a multidisciplinary team including members from business, IT, planning, finance, risk management, and HR who collaborate to ensure that all organizational projects are delivered with high quality and achieve their defined outcomes. This is achieved by mapping out project goals, defining processes, workflows, methodologies, resource constraints, and project scope.

Does my organization need a PMO?

Understanding the basics of PMO now leads to asking if my organisation needs a PMO.

A PMO is essential as the number of projects in your organization grows, which increases the risk of failure as resources get stretched, and competing priorities arise.

Importantly, a PMO fulfils the role of a conductor, understanding how each proposed project fits into the bigger business strategy.  Moreover, the PMO helps to ensure resources are appropriately allocated to minimize project failure.

You may need a PMO if:

  • Projects repeatedly finish later than planned or over budget
  • Projects are not aligned with business goals
  • Stakeholders do not have visibility into project progress
  • If there is no standardized process for initiating and executing projects
  • If you are not able to track project success accurately

Benefits of a good PMO

PMOs are often perceived as an unnecessary cost. However, they provide immense value when deployed correctly. PMOs create value by:

  • Delivering projects under budget
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Improving productivity
  • Improving the alignment of projects with the company’s objective
  • Decreasing the number of failed projects

Who staffs the PMO

In addition to understanding the basics of PMO, one needs to understand who staffs the PMO.

PMOs operate according to the organization’s needs and goals, so each PMO is structured differently.

However, PMO staff are mostly highly trained and experienced resources.

CoLAB Talent Placements specializes in staffing PMOs

CoLAB Talent is an execution capacity provider. We provide high-performing contract resources to complement your current PMO workforce, or to set up your PMO.

We proudly recruit for character, competency, and chemistry. In addition, our resources are highly competent, and they will add value to your PMO.

Adding to that, our resources are off-payroll, giving you a flexible, contracted workforce to scale with your needs.  Moreover, CoLAB lightens your recruitment burden, as we take the pile of CVs off your desk, onto ours. Furthermore, we pride ourselves in accurate matching, therefore reducing mis-hires, and adding to your ability to pursue temp-to-perm journeys.

At CoLAB, our employee experience is of utmost importance. We strive to make every stage of the employee lifecycle at CoLAB an unforgettable experience. Along with this, our culture is steered by our core values, being

  • Satisfied customers – Our customers feel heard, understood and served with excellence
  • People – Authentic care for all relationships
  • Ownership – We take accountability for the result, not just the activity
  • Transparency – Open motives [vulnerability] builds trusted relationships

Are you a business leader

  • In need of high performing resources, right now, but you can’t add them to your payroll;
  • Struggling to develop high potential resources in your organisation; or
  • In need of a flexible workforce, to scale as your demand increases?

Stop looking. Talk to CoLAB Talent Placements.

We’ll enable you to scale your execution capacity with high-performing contract resources, so that you can focus on driving strategic results and growing your business, without employing permanent resources.

Undoubtedly, this is the future of work.

Book a free 20-min call with Barend, to explore solutions for your needs, and to kickstart your journey towards the successful future of your business.

Book the call HERE.

Alternatively, send an email to ingrid at trustcolab dot com.

Click HERE to CONNECT with CoLAB

 

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