Resourcing the PMO

Insights | 24 January 2013

A Project Management Office (PMO) can be a complicated entity, and many organisations find that one of the largest issues that arises initially is the allocation of resources.

Finding the right skills at the right time coupled with the optimal budget and number of people needed to establish a PMO is hard.  Resourcing a PMO is subject to the unique culture and needs of each individual business and changes as the PMO evolves, making guidelines largely irrelevant.

That said, a few broad rules do apply to setting up a successful PMO.  Let’s look at one of them, Organisational size:

The size of the organisation is one of the factors in the amount of human resources dedicated to a PMO.

Number of PMO staff amongst business with less than 5,000 employees:

  • 63% have less than five staff
  • 28% have between five and ten staff
  • 10% have ten or more staff

Source: The 2012/13 Project Management Office (PMO) Survey conducted by PM-Partners group.

In larger organisations (greater than 5,000 employees), the distinction between size and number of PMO staff becomes less clear, again indicating that the scale of the PMO is very dependent on the individual organisation.

Number of PMO staff amongst business with more than 5,000 employees:

  • 35% have less than five PMO staff
  • 33% have between five and ten staff
  • 31% have more than 10 staff

Determining the optimal size of a PMO

The size of a PMO also depends on the services it will need to provide, the number of projects, scale and complexity of projects and their subsequent value to the organisation, and whether project managers report directly into the PMO, or to a business unit line manager.
Value of Projects Charts

Skills v Size?

Organisations often choose to resource or increase the size of their PMO by reallocating staff from other areas of the business. Whilst this can solve immediate resourcing issues, it can often lead to ineffective project outcomes unless the seconded staff have appropriate capability in project, program and portfolio management. As a general rule, a smaller group of carefully selected project professionals is often the best solution when resourcing a PMO.

Contact PM-Partners group to discuss how a focus on resource allocation can ultimately drive the value the PMO creates within your business.

PM-Partners group delivers more than $1B of projects each year and manages a team of over 100 project professionals, consultants and facilitators. With 17 years’ experience in managing small and large scale projects we know how to match people and their skills with project requirements.

The PM-Partners group is Australia’s most highly accredited project and PMO partner. We are the trusted service provider to Australia’s leading and emerging PMOs. Call us on 1300 70 13 14 for further information.

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