Launching a Project Management Office: Initiation
In a previous article, I outlined a five-step approach to launching a successful project management office in your organization.
Following the proposed cycle, the first step focuses on assessing the status of projects in your organization before creating a PMO strategy.
Next, it’s time to move into the initiation phase. Below is a practical walkthrough of four key actions to follow during this phase.
4 Key Activities for Project Management Office Initiation
Treat the initiation of your PMO as a project and work on the elements typically associated with a project – create a business case, a project charter, and a roadmap, decide on the scope, and so on.
1. Create a business case and the PMO charter
One of the first things you should do is create a business case for the PMO. The business case explains why such a project is needed and outlines the expected business value.
Create a project charter (a document outlining the objective of the project), a provisional timeline, and required resources.
PMO teams typically include:
- A PMO director or lead
- Project and Program Managers, who work within departments or teams.
- Administration staff.
2. Determine the PMO services scope
Project scope is particularly important for your PMO.
As the PMO delivers value to your organization, more people and departments will want to put their projects into your court.
Set expectations at the outset with a clear description of the initial responsibilities of the PMO and the roadmap for additional services.
During the fourth stage of launching your PMO, your team will begin to move projects into their ownership. It’s important to identify the right projects now to make the penultimate stage more successful.
3. Create a PMO services roadmap
Related to the Project Scope is the PMO services roadmap. Decide on what services the PMO will offer at the start and the plan for rolling out more services in the future.
The roadmap should include items like project management training, a move towards standardized templates, and the change management plan.
Document the scope and proposed roadmap for services, and store this file in a central repository.
4. Gain approval and proceed to the next phase
As in step 1, get approval from stakeholders before moving to the next phases in the cycle, Establish and Evolve.
Launching a Project Management Office
This article is part of a four-part series, which looks at how to establish a successful PMO. If you want to jump to another part of the process, just follow the links below:
- Launching a Project Management Office: Assessment and Strategy
- Launching a Project Management Office: Establish and Evolve
- Launching a Project Management Office: Implementation and Improvement
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.