What is a Project Management Office? A Detailed Guide

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Project Management Office

If you’ve never heard of a project management office, look no further.

In the business world, many companies have a hard time figuring out the best ways to go about completing projects. This can prevent them from growing because they end up spending too much time on something or don’t have the right tools.

With a project management office, your business can quickly grow thanks to the many benefits that the office provides. These offices take care of a variety of tasks, letting your business focus on the project without worrying about other things.

Keep on reading to learn more about project management offices.

What Is a Project Management Office?

A project management office, or PMO, is a department within a business that tries to come up with standards for project management. The project management office introduces methods into the business that improve productivity.

PMOs can offer guidance to those working on a project and act as a source when someone needs something. For example, an employee can refer to the project management office’s guidelines. This lets them know how they should be executing a project.

These offices have been around for hundreds of years because of their effectiveness, but they do things differently today. When they started, they were used to govern the agricultural industry. As time passed, more businesses introduced them to help them solve specific problems.

Their Functions

Although a PMO is often used for standards and methodologies, they can also be used for other things. A PMO office can monitor the progress of active projects and report the progress to management. From there, the business can make better decisions based on their performance.

When a PMO is influencing a project, they can take up several roles:

  • Supportive, making them a resource of information
  • Controlling, ensuring that employees are meeting compliance
  • Directive, leading and managing a project

While the exact role a PMO takes will vary depending on the project, they usually act as the core of successful projects. Their main goal is to provide support and information along with these services:

Governance

Ensures that optimal decisions are being made based on the right information. With the likes of peer reviews and auditing, they can develop project structure and hold the right people accountable for things.

Transparency

Lets employees know what’s going on behind-the-scenes. It provides information to them that will help them with decision-making.

Reusability

Uses past projects as examples. It provides businesses with templates and practices that will ensure they can find more success with projects.

Delivery Support

Offers a variety of things to help project teams work effectively. This includes training, mentoring, and streamlined processes.

Traceability

Documents everything and builds a database of projects for future reference.

Different Types of Offices in a PMO

Project management offices come in several different types. This gives businesses more flexibility when working on projects. Each type works similarly but will change its approach to project management based on the business.

  • Enterprise
  • Organizational
  • Special Purpose

Many PMOs end up falling under several of those categories, so it’s best to avoid limiting a PMO’s roles to get the most out of them.

How Your Business Can Benefit from a PMO

Now that you have a better understanding of what a PMO office is and how it functions, you may be asking how your business can benefit from one. Fortunately, investing in a project management office comes with several benefits that will improve your business’s productivity.

Guidance

Having PMO project management within your business lets you focus on the project because the PMO will take care of structuring the project and coming up with a strategy. With the guidelines in place, you can create a long-term plan and work with the project office to make better decisions.

Record-Keeping

PMOs want to deliver projects successfully, so they’ll assess a project’s progress and alert you whenever something isn’t going right. For example, if your employees aren’t working quickly enough to complete a project by the deadline, they’ll inform you. This lets you act as soon as issues arise, preventing them from becoming bigger problems.

Alternate View

Many people get tunnel-visioned when they’re working on something. However, project management offices have a bird’s-eye view on the project, so they can give you an alternate view of what’s going on. This lets you know if a minor decision could result in larger repercussions that will affect the project.

Communications

Project management offices communicate with everyone in a company, so you can get information quickly without having to stop working on the project. If someone like a stakeholder has a problem with the way your business is doing something, you’ll hear about it from the PMO.

Resources

All businesses have limited resources that prevent them from doing certain things. No matter how many resources your business has, a project management office will figure out the best way to use them across your project.

Consider Investing In a Project Management Office Today

After reading this article, you now know what a project management office is, what it does, and how it can benefit your business. No matter the size of your business, investing in a project management office can boost your business’s productivity and let you complete projects quicker.

When you’ve decided that you’d like to incorporate a PMO into your business, start thinking about why you want to. Analyze the problems that your company has and start looking into the staff for a PMO.

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