10 reasons behind the need for establishing a project management office (PMO)
Written By : Bakkah
20 Aug 2015
Projects and programs are becoming more complicated than before, and that's because project teams are getting bigger and bigger which means there is a huge variety in the nature and the culture of people who work in it. These changes in the project environment forced managers to use different forms, techniques and tools, however, having many projects within the institution with a manger for each project who uses his own forms and tools led to some sort of a chaos in managing projects, also in many instances managers within the same institution a usually see each other as competitors rather than as colleagues as they pursuit satisfaction of high management.
Now it is a must to establish a project management office (PMO) in order to overcome all these complexities.
What is a project management office (PMO)?
In (Bakkah Inc) for learning and consulting we defined in a previous article PMO as an entity or department in the institution where everything related to the projects and programs of the institution is directed to it, and its function is to improve the performance and results of managing projects. It also helps managers in achieving projects’ goals where different types of projects are dealt with as a portfolio managed in integrative way.
What are the ten reasons for establishing a project management office in your institution?
- Promote cooperation: project management offices promote teamwork and cooperation between project teams especially in sharing knowledge and experiences. We are not talking here about building relationships but we are talking about discussions, exchanging experiences and solving different teams’ problems together, therefore, removing the concept of competition between teams and promoting cooperation and integration.
- Supporting projects: having too many projects within the institution requires having a permanent office that provides support and guidance for the teams at all times, so that no project would hang or get terminated and thus delay the delivery due-date. PMOs supports in providing forms, guidance, training and supervision.
- Project management methodology and process: establishing a unified methodology to manage projects within the institution is one of the most important roles which the project management office takes, facilitating project managers work and directing their time and efforts towards completing the activities of the project.
- Training and developing: planning and serving the needs of the team including training, developing skills, building abilities and executing trainings internally, or through outsourcing. This way, there is continuous development of project teams with a reduction in the cost of training at the same time, where there is a centralized office that defines the needs, coordinates, and executes, which is the Project Management office (PMO).
- Consulting and directing: employers are always in need for advice and consultation, especially the new members, project management office (PMO) takes this role and provides these services for all project team members through people who are responsible for the office who must be project managers with long experience.
- Project management software: project management office chooses the best software and applications to follow up and manage the projects, also training the employers on using a unified software system which facilities monitoring and archiving data.
- Managing projects Portfolio: forming a team of program managers who have the ability to manage many related projects simultaneously and allocating their resources.
- Projects Data center: which contains all the details and data related to current and previous projects to ease access to information in the future and also to help managers in decision making.
- Reducing costs in the long term: most researchers and experts don’t consider reducing costs as one of the PMO’s goals, but we in Bakkah Inc put it as one of the long term advantages, having a PMO within the institution means reducing the number of small projects and merging them, it also means to hire new expert programs managers capable of managing multi projects simultaneously, and using these experts to execute training programs, which means optimal use of available recourses, in addition to reducing percentage of failure in managing projects. All of the above leads to the reduction of expenses of the projects and maintaining the institution’s assets.
- Gathering project managers: founding a centralized office where it is possible to lend managers to work on projects within or out of the institution. It is also considered as the main center for the projects teams which includes providing supporting services such as planning, reporting, documenting, and Secretary Services.
We believe that the decision of establishing a project management office is a strategic decision and it reflects the vision and experience of the decision maker. It would be difficult for some institutions especially the small ones to establish a project management office (PMO) on its own, but it can utilize the services of consultancy offices in this field as Bakkah Inc for training and consulting which provides services in establishing, managing and following up PMOs depending on each institution needs.
Bakkah team for training and consulting