definition, role and implementation

definition, role and implementation


When a company develops, it has to manage multiple projects simultaneously, respecting increasingly short deadlines and a constant need for profitability. It then becomes difficult for managers to monitor them alone. This is where the PMO comes in. Intended to monitor projects, it frees up time for teams, makes them work together in order to improve quality while reducing deadlines and costs.

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What is a PMO?

The PMO also refers to the Project Management Office than at Project Management Officer. Its purpose is to facilitate the management and steering of company projects. He has a transversal vision of all projects, programs and portfolios to propose adaptable solutions.

A true conductor, the PMO ensures that the methods and processes put in place are applied by all employees.

There are three types of PMO:

  • The operational PMO supports the project manager in the operational management of projects. It consolidates data and presents performance indicators.
  • The central PMO manages the project portfolio and monitors the budget.
  • The strategic PMO, attached to the Information Systems Department, has a more technical role. He implements strategic objectives, leads teams and improves processes.

Depending on the company, the PMO may be called upon to fulfill all of these roles.

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What is the role of a PMO?

As a service, the Project Management Office is an entity responsible for ensuring the centralized management and coordination of the project portfolio.

The Project Management Officer, on the other hand, designs and implements project management standards that are valid throughout the company. He intervenes either directly with the project manager or through a department for cross-functional monitoring of the portfolio.

The PMO ensures that projects are aligned with the company’s strategy. In addition to their evaluation, he is also responsible for their prioritization according to internal and external objectives and constraints. He manages the resources and budgets necessary for each project. Finally, it defines the roles and responsibilities of each.

The PMO service provides all the tools useful for monitoring projects. This can simply be a combination of office software such as Excel or PowerPoint or a real PMO tool allowing team management, project planning and budget monitoring. This collaborative tool can also provide reports that facilitate decision-making and help collaborators work with efficiency and precision.

The Project Management Officer must be able to anticipate technical and functional risks, map them and estimate their criticality. It implements management solutions, draws up recommendations and proposes solutions for improvement.

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How to set up a PMO?

Setting up a Project Management Office is a very effective way to deal with project malfunctions, particularly in terms of costs and deadlines.

It starts with an inventory of the existing project management in the company. It is important to know if methods and processes have already been defined and applied by all employees in order to assess the level of maturity of the organization. This step provides an overall view of each person’s missions, the way in which the various stakeholders interact with each other and whether good practices have already been put in place.

The needs must then be gathered and formalized. They will be used to assess the effectiveness of the existing system, to highlight the gaps between the current state and the expected state of project management and above all to define the mission of the future PMO. The main objectives are then documented in a mission sheet and validated by the various stakeholders.

The next step is to develop an action plan and designate the structure of the PMO, the responsibilities of each, the necessary skills and the hierarchical position of the Project Management Officer in the organization. This allows you to have a precise idea:

  • From the scope of the PMO.
  • The various services and interlocutors who will benefit from his intervention.
  • People to whom he will be accountable.
  • The way in which its added value to the organization will be quantified.
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Once the structure and the missions have been validated by the Management, it is essential to communicate on the creation and the role of the PMO in the company to all the employees involved in project management. Indeed, its implementation will certainly involve new best practices, new missions and new responsibilities. It is therefore important to obtain the support of the teams and to convince them of the interest of the PMO, both for them and for the whole company.

After the launch of the PMO, it is essential to monitor its evolution and its relevance over time. This requires comparing progress against set goals, listing both successes and failures, and ensuring that the PMO meets expectations and creates value for the business. This goes through a process of continuous improvement.

To go further, download this free project management guide and discover how to optimize your project management, thanks to an appropriate method and the right tools.The guide to project management

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