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Purpose of PMO
The Project Management Office or PMO is the group in an organization that determines the nature of a project and the parameters that it has to follow in terms of the allocated resources. PMO knowledge management activities include guidance on methodology, best practices, documentation, and the measures that facilitate the work on each aspect of a project. The best PMO model will follow the latest standards in the industry including following certification programs like ISO 9000, and all necessary governmental and environmental regulations. It will also take note of any previous projects executed, and distill the experiences from these so that they assist the current project.
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The Ideal PMO Model
A PMO can either play a supporting role, or a supervisory role. The best PMOs combine these roles effectively so that the project is completed within the budget, schedule, and quality objectives determined by the management or client. The ideal PMO would play a facilitating role that brings all persons involved in a project together so that decisions are jointly taken. The main roles of a PMO are:
- If any changes are to be made during the course of a project, the PMO would identify the need for such a change and facilitate the process.
- It would help to induct new skills if necessary and also train existing members to acquire new ones where necessary.
- It will continually assess the project and compare it with the best in the organization or industry and make changes in the methods to be followed to ensure this qualitative requirement.
- It will identify any new tools or processes so that they can be adapted to the project so that the performance on the project is constantly following higher standards.
- It will keep track of all documents flowing from within the organization and coming to it from outside and see that they remain relevant during the project.
- It will keep track of the processes and methods that are producing the desired results and arrange to distribute this effectiveness to all concerned.
- It will also keep a stern eye on failures, omissions and errors and try to find a pattern or reason for the same. It will also arrange to pass on this information to all the members concerned for their future guidance.
- It will constantly keep track of the financial requirements of the project and arrange to shift priorities if this can help the finances in any way.
- It will ensure that each new entrant to the project is completely oriented to the project and all that has gone so far, so that they contribute to the project from the day they start work.
The best PMO model should supervise and mentor a project. It should perform the role of an adviser that is trusted by everybody including the top management. It should serve as an interface between the project and all other parts of the organization so that things always move smoothly. The PMO knowledge management activities should supervise a process or event, but refrain from trying to dictate how things should move, which is best left to the staff on the project. It should have controls in place and monitor them more as a consultant. In an ideal PMO, people skills are of great importance because managing people is the most difficult of tasks. The other resources which are materials, equipment and finances are more easily managed.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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- IT Project Management Office, www.pmi-ssc.org/presentations/PMO-Presentation-Color-Final.ppt
- What’s the best PMO Model?, http://www.claretyconsulting.com/it/comments/whats-the-best-pmo-modelb/2008-02-21/
- PMO types, http://www.goodpmo.com/project-management-office/pmo-types/