The Key to a Successful PMO

The Key to a Successful PMO
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Focal point

In this series of articles, I have talked about the good, the bad and the ugly of PMOs. I have sketched a couple of different viewpoints from the authorities at Gartner and the Project Management Institute (PMI) on the different types and structures of PMOs. I have also talked about the sufficiency, in many cases, of less formal approaches to PMOs as long as the services provided are effective.

All of this brings me to the key point of it all: that there is one overriding concern that is make-or-break for the PMO. This is a key point, because a service organization like a PMO can easily lose its way and its purpose if it does not constantly keep its eye on what is happening.

So, what is this key thing, and how can the PMO keep its eye on it?


The key to PMO success is to add value to the organization constantly.

If providing templates adds value, then provide templates! If requiring compliance reports adds value then do it, but eliminate it if it ceases to add value!

Anyone working in a PMO should know that if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. This same logic needs to be applied to the PMO itself. What metrics can be measured to show that the PMO is adding clear value? The PMO needs to decide for itself, in conjunction with the stakeholders.


Measuring metrics on all PMO services is so critical, as it will enable the PMO to survive by doing the following:

  • See where the PMO is adding the most value and do more of it.
  • See where the PMO is adding the least value and eliminate it.
  • See where the PMO needs to improve services to add more value.
  • Identify services that may have been valuable at one time, but no longer provide much value.
  • Constantly monitor the organizations for new areas where the PMO can add value.
  • Get everyone on the PMO team focused on the same thing: providing value-added services.
  • Have the key metrics available to show stakeholders, including senior management, the value that the PMO is adding.
  • Be able to show in financial terms the value of the PMO in relation to how much it costs.

Is your PMO adding value? What services are adding the most value, and which are adding the least?

This post is part of the series: Project Management Offices (PMOs)

Project Management Offices can be a great asset for an organization, a disaster that doesn’t work out well or even be counterproductive. The question is what can a PMO do that adds value and is a welcome capability to the organization, and not a burden to those who are trying to get things done?

  1. PMOs: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  2. Types of PMOs - Various Points of View
  3. Informal PMOs Are OK
  4. The Most Important Thing for PMOs