As companies continue to seek greater oversight and increased efficiency for IT projects, many are turning to project management offices (PMOs) as a viable solution. These groups, whether they are formed internally or secured as an external service, help set and maintain standards for project management activities throughout the organization, ensuring requirements are met at all times. This allows key areas of concern, like best practices and project statuses, to be handled through a single group, making them easier to manage.
What a PMO Should Do
In today’s business world, a PMO is responsible for ensuring procedures, practices and operations are handled in the right way, keeping the project on time and budget, increasing the odds of success. They also make sure all projects align with the larger corporate strategy, remain agile to deal with unexpected changes, and facilitate the sharing of resources. A PMO may also identify which project management methodology is most appropriate for a project, selecting the ideal set of best practices and standards for the task at hand.
As an added benefit, a PMO can also offer coaching and mentoring to other staff members while providing oversight, allowing for increased professional development for all involved.
Typically, companies that use a PMO experience 33 percent fewer projects that would be deemed as failures, and 38 percent more projects that meet their declared goals.
Types of PMOs to Consider
PMOs are usually divided into one of three categories: supportive, controlling, or directive.
Supportive PMOs provide help as needed by sharing ideas or giving teams information about best practices. However, if everything is working smoothly and remains on target, a supportive PMO is happy to sit in the background and not intervene unless asked to, or as necessity dictates.
Controlling PMOs exert some level of control over projects by providing templates, outlining procedures, or instating reporting standards. They also offer support but don’t completely take charge of the project unless the need arises.
A directive PMO has the most active role in projects, directing activities and having strict requirements regarding the use of templates, procedures or reports. Since these are the most involved, they are common in environments that are either highly regulated or high risk.
Should You Use a PMO?
Deciding whether a PMO is right for your company means having to look inward about how your projects typically progress. In highly cooperative and successful environments, a PMO might not be necessary. However, if your business is held back by silos, a lack of communication, or a significant number of project failures, then a PMO can be an excellent choice for resolving those issues.
If you are interested in learning more about working with a PMO, the knowledgeable staff at The Squires Group can help you evaluate your options based on your current situation. Contact us today to see how our expertise can allow you to improve your project success rate in 2018 and beyond.