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What are the advantages of a PMO?

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My company intends to implement a PMO "for better control of our projects", or so they say. I think management at my company does not really know what PMO is, but they just want to implement it because everyone else is. So I would like to know what are the advantages of teh PMO to see if my company is doing the right thing or no.
asked 10 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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Before answering your question, let me just tell you that if your organization is just doing a few projects per year, then a PMO is not necessary, but, if your organization's work is mostly executing project, then a PMO is necessary and critical for the successful continuity and growth of your organization.

In short, the main advantage of having a PMO in place is because it provides control over project management.

Here are the PMO advantages (in details):

- Consistent project management methodology: Which methodology are you using on your project? Waterfall? Agile? Scrum? If there's a PMO then you are forced to use the methodology as advised by the PMO.

- Consistent templates and other project management forms: Project managers, when working under a PMO, cannot use their own handmade templates or forms (that may or may not be suitable for the project, and may or may not be understood by others). All the templates and the forms are given by the PMO to the project managers, who have to use them.

- Software consistency: You will no longer see project managers using different software (to manage their projects) in the same organization (for example, some using Excel, others using MS Project, etc...). The PMO will ensure that the same PM software is used across the board.

- Easier transition of projects: Since project management is standard across the organization, it is much easier to switch project managers between projects. Imagine how hard this would be if a project manager is using his own custom made methodology and some random templates he found on the internet to manage his projects.

- Making the job of the project manager easier: The project manager does not have to worry about choosing the methodology, the templates, the tool, etc... All of these are chosen by the PMO.

- Collaboration between projects: I know that the term collaboration refers to collaboration within projects, but when we have an established PMO in the organization, collaboration is possible between projects, here's how: Let's say your project is facing a problem that was faced by another project before (and was solved), the PMO will advise, based on the experience it captured from the previous project, how to solve the problem.

- Centralized lessons learned: All the lessons learned are captured and centralized, and they are categorized by several parameters (projects, processes, etc...), so they are easily retrievable for usage and recommendations on future projects.

- Consistent Earned Value Analysis: When a PMO is present, all projects go through the same earned value analysis in order to establish the status indicator of each (see here: http://www.projectmanagementquestions.com/1960/what-are-the-project-status-indicators ).

- Establishing professionalism: A PMO is the sign of a professional organization; an organization that cares about having high quality project management in place to manage its projects.

- Higher client satisfaction: Because of the heavy and the close monitoring of the projects by the PMO, the client satisfaction with the progress of the project will be much higher.
answered 10 years ago by TheManager (6,220 points)

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