Project Management Office – PMO

Project Management Office – PMO

More and more companies and organizations are setting up their own PMO and even training workers for that purpose. This in order to have an internal body in charge of supervising the aspect of project management in the company, studying and implementing new methodologies, adopting new thinking patterns and more.

Setting up a PMO within a company attests to the seriousness and professionalism that any entity must demand of itself if it wants its projects to be properly managed and successful. By having an internal body in charge of project management, it is more likely that the project will be properly managed, that solutions to the problems will be found, and that the company will remain flexible in the face of ongoing changes. All this will ultimately increase the project’s profitability.

The Project Management Office (PMO) is the body that creates uniformity with respect to projects and supervises all of a company’s projects in any area. The great advantage of having a PMO within an organization is evident in the field. In the year 2000, 48% of organizations had a PMO, while in 2010 nearly 84% of organizations decided to set up one for themselves. This demonstrates the companies’ satisfaction with the performance and vitality of their PMO and its positive, direct contribution to the advancement and success of projects.


Definition of PMO according to the PMBOK® Guide standard

This is the definition of a PMO as described in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI):

“A Project Management Office (PMO) is a management structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques. The PMO’s responsibilities range from providing support to project managers to direct management of one or more projects

The PMBOK® Guide serves as a global standard for project management and a collection of best practices.


Who Needs a PMO?

PMOs are required in companies and organizations that manage multiple project simultaneously. They need a broad, systematic perspective for managing a portfolio of projects that require synchronization, resource allocation, unique work processes, mechanisms for project governance, task prioritization, dealing with multiple stakeholders, methodologies, techniques, tools, and more. Consolidating all of these elements under one roof – the PMO – enables adaptability, flexibility and support of several projects simultaneously, leading them to success in every required aspect. The PMO is the function that assists, promotes and supports all projects in a company. Even when managing a single yet complex project that involves many figures and stakeholders, it could be useful to establish a PMO.


Every company has its own type of PMO

The needs and size of any of organization, as well as the number of projects it intends to carry out, affect the scope of the PMO’s function within the company.

The main focus of project management may vary based on the project’s specific needs. One project might require strict management of timetables, while another demands budgetary control. The PMO must adapt itself to the requirements of each project.

An organization that acknowledges its engagement with multiple projects should define uniform internal techniques and work methods that will be used, just like the definition of the PMO, as a global standard for all existing projects. If an organization is already implementing project management practices and has a go-to work process, it is worthwhile to enshrine this oral law into written procedures in the field. New research in this area indicates that project management that follows a systematic methodology increases success rates from nearly 40% to around 90%.


PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc