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- and long-term? QUESTION POSED ON: 09 JAN 2006 QUESTION ANSWERED BY: David Foote(NOTE: See this document for reference graphics necessary to understanding this answer.) How a project management office (PMO) is designed and staffed for maximum effectiveness depends on a myriad of organizational factors, including targeted goals, traditional strengths and cultural imperatives. There is no uniform recipe for success in organizing a PMO, but one thing is for certain -- it's important that the PMO structure closely hews to a company's corporate culture. You must build a PMO that makes the most sense to your organization. There are almost as many varieties of project management offices (PMOs) as there are companies. For example, some companies rely on the PMO to be responsible for all areas of project management and project execution. Others want the PMO to provide a consolidated reporting view of all projects in the organization. I'll organize this answer in five sections: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Defining a logical PMO organization PMO models PMO governance PMO design for short- and long-term: Organized by function and services PMO design for short- and long-term: Organized by role
Defining a logical PMO organization Before you can begin designing a PMO (or re-launching one, if you're starting over), you must define how it will function logically within the organization. The value to this is twofold. First, you gain clarity and agreement on what you are doing and why. This information is communicated to clients, stakeholders and your own staff so that everyone starts with a common set of expectations. Second, this exercise provides a framework for the PMO to guide decision making in the future. For example, you wouldn't want to undertake any projects that didn't help you achieve your organizational objectives. Likewise, major decisions can be evaluated based on whether they fit into your strategy. The following major components define your logical PMO. Mission and strategy
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Sponsor: All organizations don't have a sponsor, but a PMO typically does. The sponsor is the person responsible for the PMO funding and, in many cases, the sponsor is the manager to whom the PMO reports. Sponsors are absolutely critical for a culture change initiative such as the PMO. Stakeholders: Any people or groups (internal and external) who have an interest or a partial stake in the products and services your PMO provides. Clients/customers: The main individuals or groups that request and use the products and services your organization provides. While there may be many stakeholders, it is important to recognize who the clients are and how the PMO will focus on helping them meet their project and business objectives. Objectives: Concrete statements describing what the PMO is trying to achieve in the short term, perhaps up to one year. The objective should be written at a lower level, so that it can be evaluated at the conclusion of the year or the end of a major project, to see whether it was achieved. A wellworded objective will be specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, realistic and time-bound. Products/services: Define tangible items that the PMO produces as the result of a project. Services refer to work done for clients or stakeholders, which doesn't result in the creation of tangible deliverables. Services provide value by fulfilling the needs of others through contact and interaction. The PMO achieves its objectives through the creation of products and the delivery of services. Transitional activities: These are the specific activities and projects required to implement the physical PMO.
risk and impact assumptions before the project is undertaken. may be a progression through organizational styles that add layers of capability as a result of time and experience. the project office simply serves as a source of information on project methodology and standards. often a "dotted-line" reporting relationship exists between business-staffed project managers and the project office for performance and reporting. In either model.depending on scope and duration -. It is often used as a first step to enfranchise the idea of consolidating or sharing management practices. This model occurs most often in organizations that empower distributed. with project managers on staff who are loaned out to business units to work on projects. guidance and best practices.There are other aspects of the organization that can be defined as well. The PMO in this model is a permanent structure with staff and has some supervisory responsibility for all projects. They can save organizations money by enabling better resource management. . and are funded by. Overall. and the development of excellence in project management. In some cases. principles. but also on enabling project planning and leadership. The project repository: In this model. Best practices are documented and shared. A list of goals and objectives common to most PMOs appears in slides #1 and #2. consolidated organizational model concentrates project management within a project office. Each embodies unique functions that define its role within the project development-to-management life cycle. Project managers continue to report to. Contact me directly for more detail on these. In some organizations. and a centralized version. However. budgeted allocation for baseline services and a fee-for-service charge for others. business-centric project ownership. Funding is generally a combination of direct. allowing it to assess scope. Hybrids of these models evolve as organizations improve their project processes. risk and impact assumptions. This model also assumes a governance process that involves the project office in all projects. An enterprise project office acts as a contracted project manager. The project coach model: An extension of the repository. In the #2 coach model. This project office often helps in project setup and post-project review. reducing project failures and supporting those projects that offer the biggest payback. this model assumes a willingness to share some project management practices across business functions and uses the project office to coordinate the communication. providing project managers in business units with training. as in any evolving discipline. roles and responsibilities. allocate resources and verify time. 3. This implies direct management or oversight of projects -. a consultant or a mentor and a source of information on project processes. mentoring relationships have been established across business boundaries between high-performing project managers and those who are less able. the project office acts as a trainer. budget. but it falls short of direct project oversight within the business. Some enterprises use variants of this model to "seed" their enterprises with trained project management professionals. including the PMO vision. assessing scope. therefore. 1. the project office usually: 2. or enterprises with weak central governance. objectives. management and reporting. goals. A PMO should address a set of business needs. management's choice of models should not focus solely on control. skills. Results are used as an opportunity to raise enterprise performance and train inefficient or new project managers. all project managers actually are staffed within the shared service and consigned to projects as needed. It assumes that the enterprise has embraced a cohesive set of tools for project design.wherever they occur within the enterprise. and project performance is monitored actively. PMOs help CIOs more predictably deliver strategic IT projects that satisfy both the CFO and internal customers. Funding for this model typically is based on a fixed allocation for staffing and administrative support. The enterprise project management office: The most permanent. regardless of size. allocating resources and verifying time. their respective business areas. PMO models There are two popular models for the PMOs: one that acts in a consulting capacity. There are three basic organizational styles for a project management office. budget.
Resource evaluation: The initial assessment of resources (i.for the life of the project. Project planning: The project plan is a cooperative effort coordinated by the project office.e. 1. management and review.e. the office is assigned the key roles of assessing and validating project estimates. Based on experience and evidence from previous projects. 2. Project review and analysis: Enterprises need to know if project goals are achieved on time. There are five key roles for a PMO to be incorporated in its design. (See slide #3). This unit also performs project oversight. the project office is also the source for project managers. A project management office can be a key resource in establishing an enterprise competency in project analysis. the project office acts to validate business assumptions about project and life cycle costs. . and end-user satisfaction) PMO governance In robust PMO organizational models.g. collecting such metrics as project cost. frequent review and a governing responsibility are the baseline roles for management within the project office. The diagrams do not imply a physical PMO organization.. Monitoring and reporting: This function monitors and reviews all projects. Given the appropriate governance.. project managers are not staffed directly from the project office. as well as staffing the project manager function. based on resource availability or cross-functional project conflicts. A PMO is a shared competency designed to integrate project management within an enterprise. This unit also provides administrative support for the PMO and the projects.and long-terms: Organized by function and services Slides #4 through #6 depict a logical grouping of recommended functions and services provided by a fully implemented PMO organization in both short-term and long-term models. in some organizations. money and time) is critical on several fronts. Project management: Consistent practices.serves as a competency center and as a library for previous project plans. it can improve communication..in effect -. In addition. However. design. size. whether they are managed by the PMO or outside of the PMO. people. the degree of dysfunction and the sense of urgency across business divisions that a need exists for a shared solution to project control. management reporting will be collected and consolidated for senior DHS management and control agencies. which -.as a best practice -. There are three major functions within the PMO organization in the functional view. establish an enterprise standard for project management and help reduce the disastrous effect of failed development projects on enterprise effectiveness and productivity. who are deployed as consultants -. It also serves senior management by feeding back information that may alter project priorities. project plan templates. The initial focus and priority is on the mission-critical "high risk" projects. In most initial implementations. although implementations vary based on business structure. The review and analysis phase is a loop back to the resource evaluation role.a consistent set of tools and processes for projects -provides a basis for measuring performance and can act as a communication and training vehicle for developing project skills. quality. Standard methodology: The key to implementation -.o o o o Maintains the IT organization's repository of reusable project-related artifacts (e. Project delivery unit: This unit is responsible for the delivery management and project oversight of projects managed by the PMO. on budget and as designed. estimating models and components) Helps institute architectural standards Collects and disseminates best practices Performs project close-out (i. These project managers report into the project delivery unit. PMO design for short.
as well as for job descriptions for each PMO staff position.3. The actual roles and responsibilities of those performing the functions and services are shown in matrices appearing in slides #7 (staffing and ownership/participation by function) and #8 (roles for IT.and long-terms: Organized by role Slides #9 and #10 show recommend short-term and long-term PMO organizations charts by role. one role may be staffed by multiple individuals and one staff may perform multiple roles). PMO design for short. processes and tools. PM process and mentoring unit: This function is responsible for the project management methods. . In addition. please contact me.e. For detail on each function and all services that define them. PMO. Note that each role does not necessarily represent an individual staff member (i.. education. intellectual asset management and consultative support to the project management constituencies. and projects/programs). this unit provides mentoring.
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