Across industries and verticals, a certain level of organization is required to meet goals consistently. Even the most seasoned professionals struggle to juggle a constantly-growing list of tasks and assignments without a centralized system and team in place to keep them on track – a system such as a PMO.
What's A PMO?
A project management office (PMO) is an internal or external team that oversees project management initiatives and standards across an organization. Think of them as the glue that keeps everything together! While every PMO is unique, they typically have control over resources, workloads, teams, reporting, and the project portfolio management process. In many instances, different types of PMOs can help overcome recurring challenges or hurdles within your organization.
Keep in mind, not every company needs a PMO. However, they can come in handy for those juggling a multitude of projects or facing financial or legal risk if things go wrong. PMOs consist of highly experienced professionals who offer top-notch project management support. Most have 10+ years’ experience in the workforce and a PMP (Project Management Professional) or related certifications.
If you’re wondering if your organization should have a PMO, some expected benefits come with the territory. Here are six key reasons why you need a PMO:
1. STANDARDIZATION IMPROVES EFFICIENCY
PMOs set project management standards and guidelines for teams to follow. Well-defined processes, frameworks, and tools increase consistency and leave less room for questions when completing specific tasks. As projects pop up, the PMO is responsible for helping you choose a project management methodology for teams to follow based on your project and company needs. Some of the most common methodologies include Waterfall, Agile, Hybrid, and Critical Path.
PMOs' standards and methodologies will determine the stages and steps toward completing projects efficiently, successfully, on-time, and on-budget – every time!
2. ACCOUNTABILITY IMPROVES QUALITY OF WORK
Have you ever worked on a project without a clear vision of the project’s goals or the steps you should take to get there? How did it turn out? If it didn’t turn out well, did you take ownership of it, or did you blame a lack of communication and clarity?
In business, as visibility increases, so does accountability across the organization. PMOs set clear, attainable goals and replace “spreadsheet silos” with centralized systems. They build a goal-driven culture where people hold themselves accountable, produce a higher quality of work, learn from their mistakes, and take pride in their successes.
3. dedicated teams improve time-management
PMOs are extremely timeline-driven. They know that, by design, “projects” have end-dates. They set deadlines for teams to meet at each stage of the project, as well as an overall project end date.
PMOs figure out who's doing what and by when. They designate roles to specific functions, teams, or tasks. They'll then outline how much time should be spent and how much progress should be made across tasks and activities for each stakeholder in the project. This keeps everybody aligned, aware-of, and dedicated to the timelines at-hand.
If deadlines are missed, goals change, or new priorities take precedence, PMOs play a heavy role in reallocating time where needed. Their ultimate goal is to continuously strategize toward meeting changing project deadlines and adjusting timelines to meet changing needs.
4. communication improves alignment
Alignment happens when everyone is well-aware of strategies, processes, and tasks in place that will lead to the successful completion of a project. Once the PMO is aligned with company goals and objectives, they can communicate decisions surrounding projects and tasks with your teams and stakeholders.
PMOs also establish collaborative frameworks that everyone involved in the project will understand and be able to access. This framework enhances communication and minimizes chaos as teams work towards their goal. Finally, throughout the project, your PMO will provide ongoing data and communicate progress and achievements.
5. best practices improve agility
Some project timelines are lengthy, and industry best practices change during the time it takes to complete them. A shift in best practices may require your project trajectory to pivot or even be replaced with a higher priority project.
A PMO with insight into current best practices related to the project can quickly implement change across the organization through training, mentoring, and coaching. They’re constantly seeking opportunities to innovate where other companies aren’t. This agility can differentiate your company from others by giving you a competitive edge.
6. subject matter experts maximize impact
I said it from the start, and I’ll say it again – PMOs are experts! They offer the best of the best when it comes to project management support. Professionals within PMOs typically have 10+ years in the workforce and a number of project management-related certifications. The more highly skilled, dedicated individuals you have on your team, the more projects you’ll be able to deliver on-time and on-budget.
Keep in mind, with more expertise comes a larger knowledge base surrounding best practices in project management. Partnering with an IT Consulting partner allows you to tap into additional subject matter experts with resources and knowledge that you wouldn’t have otherwise.