5 Steps for Setting up a New PMO

Barath is an independent consultant with proven leadership in delivering robust and effective PMOs in complex programs for large banks in the UK.

Banks and financial institutions invest significantly in commissioning large programs to deliver organizational objectives. But not all investments generate the right results—and large, complex programs end up delivering lesser value than planned.

Over the years, research has attributed this to a number of reasons. Chief among them is a lack of effective governance. Program management offices are increasingly being relied upon to deliver an effective control framework throughout the program life cycle. Setting up a new PMO with a clear mandate can place an enormous demand on time, effort and money of senior management.

However, if set up correctly, they can generate immediate returns. The key to designing and setting up a successful PMO organizational unit is an experienced PMO leader who can provide effective leadership, from articulating a vision to delivering best-in-class PMO practices. This article provides a five-step guide to setting up a PMO from scratch.

1. Assess the current state
The first step toward designing a new PMO is to assess the current capabilities of the program. Most programs that are in the initiation phase carry a set of rudimentary capabilities on reporting, managing risks and budgets.

For instance, it is quite typical for new programs to leverage existing resources to establish basic key performance indicators (KPIs) to report on …

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"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."

- George Burns