Many IT Professionals consider PMO (Project Management Office) & Project Management or Project Manager’s roles and responsibilities as the same or use the terms as if they are the same. However, in reality, and from an implementation standpoint, they are different. Each one of them has a role to play in the Enterprise Governance structure. The enterprise governance structure comprises of Portfolio, Program, and Project.
While PMOs and project managers often work effectively together to achieve the best results, their tasks and roles differ. While a project manager is an individual taking care of a particular project from start to finish, a PMO is a team of specialists who work at an organizational level.
Let us look at the PMO – Project Management Office and related activities.
What is PMO
Project Management Office (PMO) is an enterprise-level function that establishes standards for processes related to managing projects and approves corresponding methodologies, techniques, and tools. It serves as a point of contact for all organization’s projects and is involved in the management of shared project resources.
There are three types of PMOs –
Supportive PMOs – have an advisory role in managing a company’s projects, which involves providing project managers with training, templates, and other necessary materials, sharing best practices, etc. They have a low impact on projects’ workflows.
Controlling PMOs – Not only provides the above-mentioned support but also requires compliance of the project management process with certain standards, e.g., frameworks, templates, tools, etc. They have a medium degree of control over projects’ processes.
The members of Directive PMOs manage a company’s projects themselves. So, the degree of control, in this case, is high.
PRINCE2® also refers to PMO as Project Support function which is described under Organization theme.
This role is not optional, so it needs to be assigned to a person or persons. Bigger Organizations might have a Project Office (also referred to as a Project Support Office) that provides these services for a number of projects.
It is important to note that, every project management office will be different depending on the size of a company, its business goals, stakeholder needs, domain/industry, etc.
The responsibility of Project Support is with the Project Manager.
- Establishing project management methodology, standards, and best practices
- Making sure that a company’s projects are aligned with business objectives and goals.
- Providing project managers with various kinds of supervision
- Managing shared resources across all projects
- Facilitating communication and collaboration between teams
- Preparation of reports basis data collected across projects
- Support in Project Planning activities
- Support Project Manager in maintaining various registers like Issue, Risk, Change Log
- Provides administrative services (to support the Project Manager), advice, or guidance on the use of project management tools or Configuration Management.
What is the difference between a PMO’s and a project manager’s role?
|1||Focuses on meeting or achieving Project objectives and goals of the enterprises||Helping in formulating strategies, Policies, and Processes|
|2||One Person||Team of Person|
|3||Responsible for Execution and delivery of project||Manages or regulates standards, templates, metrics, and dependencies across projects at enterprise level|
|4||Manages constraints of Project – Time, Scope, Cost/Budget||Enables ensure efficient use of enterprise resources across all projects|
|5||Controls resources and tasks and monitors project activities||Manages or regulates standards, templates, metrics, and dependencies across projects at the enterprise level|
Benefits of PMO
- Improved quality of project outcomes
- Cost reduction – maximum efficient utilization of the available resources
- Providing a single source of truth for all project data
- Ensuring that a company runs the right projects and thus achieves enterprise goals and objectives
- Enables to reduce of risks through control mechanisms – Risk Mitigation and Monitoring
- Provides an independent view of the project to Senior Management
Certification for PMO Member
Members of the PMO team should preferably be certified in formal project management subjects either via PMP or PRINCE2®. ZOC Learnings being an accredited training institute or authorized provider can assist your certification process.
A project manager is responsible for the successful delivery of a project, while a PMO ensures that all projects running in a company are properly managed and aligned with a company’s business objectives and goals.
Q1: What is PMO?
A1: PMO stands for Project Management Office. It is a centralized team or department within an organization responsible for defining and maintaining project management standards and practices.
Q2: What are the main activities of a PMO?
A2: The main activities of a PMO typically include project planning, monitoring and reporting, resource allocation, risk management, and ensuring that projects align with the organization’s strategic goals.
Q3: How does a PMO benefit an organization?
A3: A PMO benefits an organization by improving project efficiency, reducing risks, enhancing project visibility, optimizing resource allocation, and ensuring that projects are aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.
Q4: What is the role of a PMO in project governance?
A4: The PMO plays a crucial role in project governance by establishing project management standards, ensuring compliance with policies and procedures, and providing oversight and guidance to project managers and teams.
Q5: Are there different types of PMOs?
A5: Yes, there are different types of PMOs, including supportive PMOs, controlling PMOs, and directive PMOs. The type of PMO a organization chooses depends on its specific needs and the level of control it wants over its projects.