Launching a Project Management Office: Implementation and Improvement
Launching a project management office is a major endeavor. In this series of articles, I have outlined a five-step approach to make the journey easier. The final two phases recommend a phased approach to implement the PMO and developing a cycle of continuous improvement.
Implementing the Project Management Office
Once the PMO is established, you can start to move projects into this structure. These projects were selected during the second stage, Initiation, as you decided the scope and services to offer in the first phase.
Launch your pilot set of projects, supported by clear plans for communication, change management, and governance.
You’ll also want to plan and track the resources of your team. As you implement the Project Management Office, there are going to be new duties and new responsibilities for various individuals. You want to make sure you are not overloading them and that you are providing them with training as well, so they are comfortable and successful in the new approach.
Once the PMO is operational, schedule some time for a feedback session with the team. Find out what they like or don’t like, and need to improve, add, or remove. You will likely only have a short window of opportunity to prove the value of the PMO to the wider business, making improvement and innovation key to your success. According to the Project Management Institute, PMOs that regularly seek and implement feedback tend to be highly important to their organizations.
Within your PPM software, create a backlog for feedback and suggestions for managing projects you would like to try or evolve to. These can cover additional changes that people want to make to forms, scheduled reports, additional scorecards configured with KPIs, or other elements.
In time, seek feedback from stakeholders and customers.
Look back at your notes from the initial assessment and select some common project management challenges within the organization to tackle. This will help to embed the PMO within the business whilst also establishing credibility for the PMO team.
Areas to consider include:
- Portfolio alignment with business goals
- Risk Management
- Benefits Management
- Cost Management
- Project management certifications
- Knowledge Management
- Metrics and Reporting.
As the team experiences some project management success, you will want to evolve to more sophisticated processes. Be sure to maintain clear standards during periods of change and improvement. People will want some flexibility with how they manage projects, but you do want them to have clearly defined lane markers, so they do not drift too far afield.
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 wish to review the first three steps, just follow the links below:
- Launching a Project Management Office: Assessment and Strategy
- Launching a Project Management Office: Initiation
- Launching a Project Management Office: Establish and Evolve
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.