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How to Create a PMO Implementation Plan

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 6/10/2013

When is it time for your project management office to begin a PMO implementation plan? If your projects are over-budget, over-schedule, and unorganized, the time for that plan is right now. Jean Scheid offers tips on how to get the job done.

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    What Is It?

    Project Management Knowledge Areas Wikimedia Commons A Project Management Office or PMO has increased project successes and decreased delays and overspending. A good PMO can ensure every element of your company’s projects run successfully from choosing the right methodology to finding the right teams.

    Effective PMOs begin with a vision based on the company’s ideals and create processes and procedures that can be implemented into any project with very high success rates. While PMOs began in the IT world, they’ve expanded since then, and now is the right time for you to jump on board.

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    Needs and Wants

    Perhaps the biggest challenge in creating a PMO implementation plan is figuring out where to start. Simply deciding you need a PMO is not enough. You need to answer some tough questions first before you begin the planning process.

    First, why are you considering a PMO? From there you need to define how the PMO will be structured, what you want it to contain as far as resources and reference material, how the PMO will be shared by departments, and who will run the PMO.

    Analyzing why your projects fail or are over budget with missed deadlines is a good place to start to build your PMO implementation plan. If you can decipher what is wrong initially within your projects, a clearer explanation on why you need the PMO in the first place should reveal itself.

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    Baby Steps and Company-Wide Input

    The Office Wikimedia Commons Once you’ve established what you want your PMO to be, it’s time for some baby steps and company-wide input. Establishing anything new in the office means change and while change is inevitable, expect resistance, especially if only upper management is making decisions on the PMO.

    Get project managers and team member input on what they would like to see in the project management office such as training tools, direction and leadership, reporting systems, communication plans, and reviews and performance meetings.

    Every PMO structure should be taken with care and deliberate content from everyone who will utilize the PMO. If a project management office is set up with only upper management input, it could backfire making the PMO a place no one trusts, especially project teams.

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    Implementing the PMO Plan

    The PMO implementation plan and its size should be determined by the your company structure, number of projects completed and planned, team sizes, education of staff and certification levels of project managers.

    Study already implement procedures and find ways to improve upon them. Identify areas of concern, risk or ones that are problematic. Set clear standards on how your PMO will be run and why it is needed. Understand that PMO reviews are necessary from time to time to reevaluate the project management office and learn from mistakes and processes or procedures that didn’t work.

    To aid you in creating your PMO implementation plan, we’ve included this sample PMO Implementation Plan. While you may not need to utilize everything in this three-phase PMO implementation plan, it is a great starting point for any organization's needs, regardless of its size.

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    Outsourcing

    Organizations who have no idea on how to begin a PMO implementation plan can benefit from both PMO consultants and software. Some examples of consultancy companies and software include:

    • PMO Logistics - This consultancy firm specializes in the project management office. They provide complete PMO setups including strategical, tactical, and role-based training. You must have a WordPress login to access this site.
    • BOT International - This PMO setup software includes PMO setup books, solutions and PMO templates as well as PMO Webinars to help you start a PMO office.
    • Delegata - Another PMO consultancy service, you can download their brochure in an Adobe format to learn how they can help not only setup your project management office but ensure it runs the way you want it to.

    Keep in mind that every company will incur some expense when initiating a PMO implementation plan; however, often the price you pay the experts will help you avoid intraoffice dilemmas.