14 Ways to Match Your PMO Services to Your Organization’s PM Maturity

April 2, 2015 by

Depending on the scope of the project management office (PMO),  the needs of the organization and its project management maturity, the PMO will need to select a few key services where it can add visible value.

It is a critical success factor for a PMO to match their services to their organization’s project management maturity. A successful PMO will offer a range of services which business units can rely on time after time.

 

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For a PMO to become really successful, it has to play a strategic role within the organization and add real business value. Unfortunately,  many organizations still have low project management maturity. In this case, a PMO usually has to start by providing the tradition back-end services of a project management office.

This means that services have to be introduced gradually and the PMO roadmap should clearly highlight this.

As a PMO begins to define its aims, it needs to consider what services it will offer, and when to offer these services,

The services that are required dictate the various roles and responsibilities. Each service provided will need some level of staff support.

Here are 14 ways to match your PMO services to your organization’s project management maturity.

 

 

14 Ways to Match Your PMO Services to Your Organization’s PM Maturity

1) Project Management Support

Part of establishing the PMO is to deploy a common set of project management processes, procedures, and templates.

This will aid project management and status reporting, and highlight any issues or risks more visible.

The PMO needs to add value to the project team by assisting them to drive their projects to a successful outcome.

Project Managers and other project team members are more likely to use templates and tools that are easy to use.

There are also fewer misunderstandings within organizations if project managers use the same templates and processes for managing their projects.

 

2) Project Management Methodology

A PMO will create and offer a set of standard project management tools and processes for project team members.

 

3) Project Manager Mentoring

A PMO can offer consultative support to project team members by providing project management mentoring.

The PMO can help project managers to keep projects from getting into trouble and support projects at risk to make sure that they do not get any worse.

It can also sponsor the improvement of project management skills and knowledge with the organization through education and certification.

 

4) Project Meeting Support

PMOs can give help to project team members by supporting and facilitating project meetings.

 

5) Project Governance

PMO processes facilitate control and governance at different stages of a project.

The PMO can give project managers get approvals by having the correct document at the required standard for the governance committees.

It is also a best practice to start a stage gate review approval process for projects for the development and implementation of projects. The PMO will offer specific templates that will be signed off at each “gate” by a governance steering committee before moving to the next stage of the project.

A critical success factor for a PMO is to show visible value and effective governance reporting with communications customized appropriately to the intended audience.

 

6) Project Audits

Another key added value service for a PMO  is performing project reviews and risk management.

 

7) PMO Metrics and Reporting

A key critical service for a PMO, if it wants to show early visible value to the organization, is to develop reports and dashboards to track metrics on the state of project management and the value being provided to the business by the project management organization.

A key role for a PMO is to centralize and standardize project status reporting and RAID management (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies).

The PMO will collate information from the weekly and monthly highlight reports to create reports on project status in a format that meets the needs of each targeted audience.

 

8) Business Case Validation

Another PMO service which adds visible value is the ongoing validation of business cases for projects, especially if the organization decides to adopt a phase-gate process which facilitates a structured method for planning and executing projects.

 

9) Master Project Schedule List

A ‘Quick Win” for a PMO is to create a Master Project Schedule List of the current project portfolio. This is a key PMO report which lists all the projects that are part of the overall, current project portfolio.

This report facilitates the key activities of project tracking, project prioritization, and portfolio management.

Depending on the requirements of the organization, the Master Project Schedule List can have a number of fields including where each project is identified by name and with a brief description.  Additional fields could include the current project phase and a full set of stage-gate approval dates.

The Master Project List will offer the following benefits for supporting a big-picture view for portfolio management:

  • To maximize the value of the portfolio.
  • To achieve a balance between priorities.
  • To align projects with company strategy.

 

10) Centralization of Project Management Documents

Implementing a basic centralized directory for project documentation helps the PMO become a single source of truth for projects.

Example of a Basic PMO Directory Structure:

  • PMO Implementation Project Documents
  • PMO Communication Documents
  • Resource Management Spreadsheet
  • Project Contact List
  • PMO Policies, Processes and Procedures
  • Project Document Templates
  • Governance Presentations
  • Governance Approvals Spreadsheet.

 

11) Knowledge Management

To develop knowledge management for future projects from past projects, a PMO can facilitate post-project reviews and lessons learned meetings.

With the data gathered from these follow-up meetings, they can make sure new projects incorporate lessons learned from earlier projects.

 

12) Change Control

A PMO can add value with an effective project control process to manage changes in scope, costs, schedule, and benefits.

 

13) Resource Management

A PMO can play a key role in resource management in hiring, financial management, and project prioritization.

 

14) Portfolio Management

As a PMO becomes more established, it can move from its traditional role of project oversight to portfolio management and project prioritization.

 

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