The importance of a PMO (Project Management Office)

If your organization is into offering project management services then sooner or later you would need to setup a PMO (project management office) within your business. A PMO is a department, division or a group within an organization that defines, executes and maintains the standard process and procedures that are related to project management.

Project Management is getting popular among many small businesses. In simple terms it is the planning, organizing and controlling of resources and manpower to achieve a desired outcome or a specific goal. Anything that involves a defined beginning and an end and is usually time and money constrained is called a project, and to ensure the smooth delivery of this project you need to follow basic project management principles.

A PMO is more like an umbrella entity within any organization that overlooks such project management activities. This division strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management.

With increased globalization, industry certification programs, such as ISO 9000 and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, as well as government regulatory requirements, have propelled organizations to standardize many processes. Businesses of all sizes and shapes are defining, borrowing and collecting best practices in process and project management and using it within their PMO office.

However, there are many small and medium sized businesses that tend to overlook the importance of project management office due to resource constraints often common within organizations. Many businesses tend to find a qualified project manager and/or software and then hope the pieces all fall into place.

A well organized PMO office is very necessary within any form of Project Management practice.  It is important to streamline PMO functions first by standardizing Project Management tools and techniques. This will help in avoiding overall project risks and failures. Eventually, how a project management office (PMO) is designed and staffed for maximum effectiveness depends on a variety of organizational factors, including targeted goals, traditional strengths and cultural imperatives.

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