Professional: Project Management Office Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

 
 

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In the last few years, project management offices have become a very popular cure for companys’ project management problems.
 
One question that must be asked referring to the role of the PMO; will it merely provide administrative support to project operations, be a center of excellence for project management practitioners, be the managerial center to which project professionals report, or have complete responsibility for the planning and delivery of entire projects?
 

 

 
 
 
 
     
 
Project Management Office
 

Administrative Support PMO

The administrative-support Project Management Office provides different types of assistance to the project manager and the project.
 
This type of PMO may assist in creating and updating the different sorts of project management documentation that are required depending on the project phase. This could include the project charter; any or all of the documents contained in the project plan (e.g., work breakdown structure, network diagram, risk, quality and communications plan).
 
The administrative-support PMO will have expertise in using the firmís chosen software tool to track the project. During project execution and control, the PMO may coordinate work authorization or issue the work authorization notices under the direction of the project manager. The Project Management Office may handle change control documentation. It may collect individual status reports and consolidate them for the project manager, as well as collect hours and calculate earned value.
 
The administrative-support Project Management Office could have a role in collecting other types of documentation that are related to the project, but not specifically project documentation (e.g., specifications or work product). At project closing, the administrative-support Project Management Office may ensure that all documents that require signoff have been received, final budgets are turned in, and all project documentation is properly formatted and archived. In sum, the administrative-support Project Management Office may do any administrative task necessary to support the project.
 
 
 
Project Management Office  

Center of Excellence PMO

The center of excellence Project Management Office serves as a reference and resource for project teams. The members of this type of Project Management Office would not be project
 
managers, in the sense that they would not serve as project managers on individual projects, but they would have the more general role of supporting project management to the firm.
 
The members of this type of PMO would not be project managers, in the sense that they would not serve as project managers on individual projects, but they would have the more general role of supporting project management to the firm.
 
They may offer different types of education to members of the firm, assisting them in gaining knowledge about project management. They might also serve as project consultants, assisting the members of any project team with different facets of project management. For example, they could be available to assist a newer project manager during a project planning session or to help calculate and interpret earned value.

 

In some cases, where an organization is working to upgrade the quality of project management or a newly revised methodology, the members of a center of excellence PMO may be in charge of the effort (in which case, they would be the project managers of the improvement project).The center of excellence PMO would also work on establishing and maintaining best practices for project management that project teams could consult, as well as a library (virtual or otherwise) of books and other materials that could be consulted as necessary.
 
       
 
 

     
 
Project Management Office
 

Managerial Project Management Office

A managerial Project Management Office constitutes home base for project managers in an organization. Project managers would report to the Project Management Office and receive all of their human resources support (e.g., payroll, benefits, evaluations) from the Project Management Office
 
When project managers are assigned to projects, they would have an indirect (or dotted) line between them and the project sponsor and a direct (or solid) line between them and the manager or director of the PMO.
 
The consultant PMO management would also be concerned with the knowledge and skills of the project managers, but would not necessarily serve as a center of excellence.
 

Management Office Type Matrix

 
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Project Management Office
 

Delivery Project Management Office

The delivery Project Management Office is actually responsible for delivering complete projects. The project managers and teams would not necessarily report to this Project Management Office in the same way that
 
they report to a managerial Project Management Office, but for the duration of the project, the team would report to the project manager on an indirect basis and the project manager to the appropriate level within the PMO.
 
The Implementation Project Management Office would have complete responsibility for the entire project and would relate to the rest of the firm in much the same way as a vendor relates to a client. The project sponsor will probably be from the organization outside of the PMO, and the project manager would be the PMO representative who works directly with the project sponsor.
 
Using the delivery Project Management Office model, project teams would come together for the duration of the project and would either return to their functional areas after a project or simply be assigned to a new project.

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It would not be unusual to see project managers and other team members working on more than one project at a time.
Needless to say, in the real world, it is rare that a PMO has one single function, often combining some or all of these elements. How those elements come together also depends on the type of organization and the level in the organization at which the PMO is situated. Project Management Templates
 
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