Step Into the Project Management Office
August 3, 2016 by The FlexPro Group
Whether you’ve spent your days building a small company or grinding away among the ranks of a large corporation, you know projects can pile up without warning. A firm’s level of organization can make or break long-term success as the workload intensifies.
While the old adage ‘everyone has their own way of doing things’ can ensure personal success, a growing trend in the modern workplace would indicate that large-scale victories are won with more standardized support.
A Project Management Office (PMO) is often the key that unlocks the potential of both a company’s individuals and departments as a whole. Loosely defined as “the coordinated management of multiple projects”, a PMO is a valuable company resource that can serve as a stabilizing force in the fluctuating world of project management.
The project management specialists at Forward Momentum set out to define in detail the high-level role of a PMO and determine why it’s necessary for success in the modern corporate world. In a two-part series, we’ll take a look at each half of the equation and outline how a centralized PMO can change the game.
So what does a PMO do exactly? Forward Momentum lists five major areas: provide guidance and support, enable all aspects of successful deliverables, improve customer satisfaction, serve as the basis for consistency, reliability, and risk management, and minimize gaps and overlaps between projects. Let’s drill down into each benefit.
Provide Guidance and Support
With the map to success in hand, a PMO can act as helpful supervision with a project management toolbox at its disposal. A community of project managers offers valuable experience, can improve the quality of toolkit standardization, and offers decision-makers a more complete view of their personnel. Organizing the efforts of project managers within a company is a big step toward maximizing the potential of the department and it employees.
Ensuring Complete and Successful Deliverables
Introducing a more organized approach to project management governance can also boost collaborative efforts and coordinated work on related tasks. You’ve likely been involved in a situation where your project team is grinding away ‘without knowing what the other hand is doing’, meaning visibility of other aspects of a project is limited. With everyone on the same page, communication channels between teams are open and deliverables remain on schedule without extra work being created.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Satisfaction for the client, regardless of whether they’re an external party or internal department, often relies on communication during over the life of a project. A PMO consolidates the point of contact when inquiries or updates are needed, as the customer won’t ‘have to chase down the individual PM within a program’ for information. Benefits for those waiting on the completion of work go beyond the deliverable themselves when a PMO is in play.
Consistency, Reliability, and Risk
The most technical improvement a PMO can bring to a company lies in its overall integration into larger plans and evaluation of risks within a portfolio. Risk management lies at the top of any list of current trends within the PM world, but finding where a deliverable fits and how it impacts existing processes may be just as critical. The central theme of the PMO is coordination, and that’s no different here. Reliability and staying power of the resulting system is best achieved when a larger body oversees the unification of processes, documents, and scheduling through the life of a project.
Minimize Gaps and Overlaps
A Project Management Office is responsible for the management of all ongoing PM efforts, which means it has visibility on interdependencies and crossover between related projects. Planning and execution under a common department allows for better coordination on similar tasks for different projects and eliminates extra work that can be created by disjointed efforts.
Check in later this month for part two of our PMO series where we cover the business value of adding a Project Management Office to your organization.