Implementing a Project Management Office (PMO) can be so beneficial to an organization. It helps make projects move more effectively, it minimizes rework, and it increase retention of your company. This is only if you are running a successful PMO. The big question is “where do I start?” when wanting to implement a PMO. Below are the top 5 things that we think you must have before putting a PMO in place.
#5 – Same page I what project management is
Depending on your organization and the culture of the people that you work with, project management can mean many different things. It can take on any type of methodology in the book (and some that is not in the book). It’s vital that you sit down with the PMO Stakeholders and your future PMO team members to discuss and distinguish what methodology or methodologies you plan to use, how or if they are going to be modified to meet your business needs, and what other processes that it may affect in your organization.
#4 – Merge any successful processes with the new PMO processes
It’s like that your organization has some kind of processes already in place. If it’s a communication process, project approval process, or even a testing process, evaluate if these work for your organization and if there’s even a need to make a change. The better your processes and the less change that you can afford to make within your PMO processes, the easier you will receive buy-in from your team and organization.
#3 – Understand the PMO maturity model and use it as a guide
It’s posted all over the internet…the PMO maturity model. It’s sweet and to the point. If you read many books, you will get a details view of what each item means. It will take time to get to level 5 if your organization is new to project management, but if you create a project to manage and monitor the tasks that belong to each level, you will be on your way to implementing the PMO.
#2 – You have resources and role clarity
You may or may not have many resources. Your first issue is that not having resources leaves you open to not being able to execute projects that go through the PMO pipeline. If you’re in a small company, the Project Manager may also be the developer or administrator of an software application (which is not something that you want to happen). By having the correct resources, you are able to implement the PMO effectively and have greater role clarity within your PMO. Role clarity allows you to put your team members in a box (not a silo) which helps delegate resources based on knowledge, skill, and how quickly they complete their work. If you have two developers or two auditors, you will be able to know which departments they know more about or work better with and you can allow delegate resources to project more efficiently. This in turn creates better retention and morale for your PMO team.
#1 – Buy-in and Support from upper management
This is by far the most important piece of implementing the PMO. You must have buy-in from upper management in order for the employees of the company to work effectively with you and your PMO team. Your managers must also relay to the company that they are bought in to implementing the PMO and that they fully support the momentous change within the organization. Then and only then will you have the best chance of implementing the PMO.