Creating a Project Management Organization (PMO):
A Guide for the Perplexed
What is a PMO, and does one size fit all?
One size does not fill all when you think about PMO’s.
Many PMO definitions are in the market place, as an example:
“A project management organization, (PMO) is a group with a business or organizational enterprise that defines, clarifies and established standards for project management within the organization."
“The goal of a PMO is to standardize, provide guidance, measure success and recruit process owners and fosters strong communications and interrelationships in the execution of projects.”
Often organizations have several PMO models in play in their company, so it’s helpful to understand the differences between the four most common PMO organizational models:
· When the organization requires that the PMO align to the current or future strategies of the entire company, an Enterprise Transformational PMO is the model of choice.
· Often when the focus of the change is a function of the company, e.g., Corporate Finance, HR, Customer Service, e.g., a singular Divisional PMO is needed,
· If our goal is to streamline for example, the Supply Chain process, and make it more efficient through the utilization of new technologies, process optimization or tools, than a Project PMO is what is created, and lastly,
· When the organization has many major mega capital projects underway, including major shifts in culture, organization, customer interfaces, new plant constructions, global restructuring, partnerships, and other critical elements that must be highly integrated and communicated to the entire global organization, a Center of Excellence (COE) PMO Model is what is created.
A mega PMO structure has very large boundaries, many process owners and critical outcomes that must be achieved, utilizing standards, tools and connections on a global scale. A COE PMO sustains the test of time and will becomes a permanent part of the organization structure
8 Critical Components for any PMO Model
PMO’s should never be thrown together without thinking through and detailing 8 critical process that need to be embedded into the PMO Model you choose, these include:
1. Change & Communications Management: a detailed communication plan, stakeholder management process, change, organization capacity, readiness data, impact assessment data, survey’s, a methodology for organizational redesign, and tracking system to monitor change movement and acceptance.
2. Issue & Risk Management: an issue tracking process and tools including a resolution path, identification of tactical and strategic risks, (H,M,L), a mitigation process, and risk monitoring capabilities and, ideally risk management software that helps your organization bring to light critical risks and mitigation approaches that need immediate attention.
3. Controls Management: scope, schedule and costs, status reporting and tracking expenditures against budgets.
4. Knowledge Management: ways to capture learnings from the project, KM tools, a process for capturing and loading information in your KM tool. Training process on reliability, quality, maintenance management as well as other statistical process control tools and systems.
5. Contracting & Supply Chain Management: defined tender and proposal process, evaluation criteria, selection process, defined control process for tracking progress against contracts. Procurement standards and process flow from inception through execution.
6. Quality & Safety Management: developing a process for monitoring technical standards and other processes. Audit forms, summary reports of incidents and changes to create a “defect free and injury free” environment.
7. Resource Management: identification of resources needed for each stage of the project, (total number, skillsets, etc.) Process for procuring and onboarding staff, tool to manage scheduling, time utilization, and the availability of resources.
8. Document Management: defined document management process, workflows, controls, naming conventions and a monitoring process.
Choosing the Correct PMO Model: Why Does it Matter?
A successful PMO structure enables strong and sustainable organizational excellence, seeks to enhance the practice of effective and efficient execution management, creates clear governance and strategic change leadership.
A winning combination to ensure you get it right the first time!
About the Author: Mark Hordes
Mark Hordes is Principal and Senior Global Management Consultant with Mark Hordes Management Consultant, LLC, an organizational management consulting firm based in Houston, Texas