What is the purpose of your PMO?

Insights | 11 May 2015

PMOs come in all shapes and sizes and there is no ‘one size fits all’ PMO for an organisation.

The first steps in establishing a successful PMO are:

  • Understand where the PMO will add Business Value in the next 3 years.
  • Clearly define the purpose of the PMO and how you will incrementally increase this over a 3 year period.
  • Agree the services it will offer and how you will incrementally add to this over a 3 year period.

In our 2013 PMO Survey, we asked “What is the purpose of your PMO?”

The results included:
PMO Purpose

Other options included, supporting Project Managers and Programme Managers, Supporting Steering Committees; reporting and cost management, to name a few.

Some survey participants found it very easy to answer, whilst others struggled to define the purpose of their PMO with more than a third of organisations surveyed struggling to provide a concrete purpose.

How do you add value to the organisation and senior executives? How do you convince management teams that the PMO is an integral part of the business if you cannot clearly articulate its purpose?

More importantly, how do you know in which direction the PMO should be going if you don’t know why it exists?

A strong, clear PMO purpose that is driven by solid business needs provides a firm foundation on which to base future decisions.

It is essential to develop and communicate a charter that defines the PMO purpose and objective, so that the scope of the PMO, and the services it offers, are widely understood and expectations are set. The charter should be endorsed by a senior sponsor and communicated to executives, the project community and the wider business.

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