The PMO in Operations

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

More and more organizations are including a project management office as part of the operational model instead of only forming a PMO when there is a large project to be worked on. While having a PMO on the organizational chart all the time might be a great boon for PMP’s looking for work, it can also have its own idiosyncrasies and complications. After all, the definition of a project is that it has a beginning and an end, so what are practitioners of project management going to do in an operational environment where the primary goals are to maintain repeatable processes or fulfill ongoing expectations?

In general, there are two major reasons for having a PMO as part of the operational team. The first reason is for work that is ongoing but can be managed as if it were a project. The second is for an operational team that is constantly engaged in project work; this work will include smaller projects or mini-projects that aid the operational team. In both of these cases, it is the project manager and the project management office that is uniquely qualified to manage this type of work, even in an operational environment.

Ongoing Projects
There are many aspects of operational responsibilities that can be managed in the same manner that projects are managed. The PMO in this environment will need to identify the ongoing tasks and define the processes that can be …

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