Project Management

The Role of the PMO in Organizations

Many organizations realize the benefit of developing and implementing a PMO. This is often true of those organizations employing a matrix organizational structure, and almost always true of those employing a projectized organizational structure, especially when the parent organization is involved with the simultaneous management of multiple and/or sequential projects.


A PMO can exist in any of the organizational structures, including those with a functional organization. A PMO’s function in an organization may range from an advisory influence, limited to the recommendation of specific policies and procedures on individual projects, to a formal grant of authority from executive management. In such cases, the PMO may, in turn, delegate its authority to the individual project manager. The project manager will have administrative support from the PMO either through dedicated staff or through a shared staff member. The project team members will either be dedicated to the project or might include staff members who are shared with other projects and, in turn, are managed by the PMO.


Project team members will report either directly to the project manager or, if shared, to the PMO. The project manager reports directly to the PMO. Additionally, the flexibility of the PMO’s centralized management can offer the project manager a greater opportunity for advancement within the organization. Specialty project team members can also be exposed to alternative project management career options in organizations with PMOs.


Project Management System

The project management system is the set of tools, techniques, methodologies, resources, and procedures used to manage a project. It can be formal or informal and aids a project manager in effectively guiding a project to completion. The system is a set of processes and the related control functions that are consolidated and combined into a functioning, unified whole.


The project management plan describes how the project management system will be used. The project management system content will vary depending upon the application area, organizational influence, complexity of the project, and availability of existing systems. The organizational influences shape the system for executing projects within that organization. The system will adjust or adapt to accommodate any influence imposed by the organization.


If a PMO exists in the performing organization, one of the functions of the

PMO would typically be to manage the project management system, in order to ensure consistency in application and continuity on the various projects being performed.[i]


[i] A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Third Edition

2004 Project Management Institute, Four Campus Boulevard, Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA


November 5, 2008 - Posted by | PMO | ,

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