Putting the 'E' in PMO

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Let’s address a potential misconception before we even start this article: I’m not talking about the ePMO, a virtual PMO if you will. This article is going to look at the EPMO: the Enterprise Project (Program) Management Office.

The concept of an EPMO is gathering support in a lot of different environments, and the recent economic challenges have only accelerated the process. In this article I would like to look at what that might mean for traditional PMOs and identify some of the things that you can do for the arrival of an EPMO in your organization.

The EPMO concept
The concept of an EPMO is to bring all PMO functions within a single, central, corporate function. Instead of having department-level PMOs responsible for the effective execution of projects within their functional areas, the EPMO moves project execution responsibility to the corporate level with a single body looking after the entire project portfolio of the organization.

EPMOs may be formed from the merger of existing PMOs into a central body, or they may be created as entirely new entities that replace the functional PMOs. They can be just as varied as the PMOs that exist today--some will provide simple process audit and project control, others will add project execution with functional management of project managers and others will add training, continuous improvement, project …

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