Project Management

Evolving the PMO: From Project to Program to Portfolio

Rob Saxon is a Project Management Professional, Certified Information Systems Auditor and a trained Six Sigma Specialist. Rob is currently developing methods to integrate project management into previously unexplored areas of business.

Many organizations of all sizes have what they call a “PMO”. Sometimes, the definition of the “P” in PMO is elusive. To effectively build, maintain and evolve a PMO, however, we have to be very clear about what the “P” means. Approaching the definition with specific goals in mind can help us to put together a world-class organization.

One approach to defining a PMO is to look at the organization as being on an evolutionary path. The first stage of the evolution is the Project Management Office. During this stage, the PMO organization will achieve some specific, foundational goals. Later, the PMO organization will more strongly focus on the programmatic aspects of the organization. Through achieving goals in this stage, the PMO will prepare for the portfolio aspects of PMO management.

Stage 1: Project Management Office/Building the Foundation

“We will either find a way, or make one.” 
–– Hannibal

If your organization has never made use of a PMO, there are a few techniques and strategies you can employ right away to get started. First, take stock of the current efforts within the organization. Create an inventory of projects that are underway. Understand the roles and responsibilities of project managers in the company. Understand the definition of the role of the project manager in the …


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"I would never die for my beliefs, cause I might be wrong."

- Bertrand Russell