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Topics: Organizational Project Management, PMO, Strategy
Dividing a PMO into branches
I work for a company that has 2 main divisions within the company: the side that designs our products and the side that fabricates our products. Not only are the day-to-day functions between these departments drastically different, but the overall process established for each phase of a project (design vs fab) is drastically different. To further complicate the issue, these departments are located in separate buildings. In recent years we made a shift in the PMO to no longer have a single PM see a job from design all the way through fab, but rather to have a design PM who is specialized in the processes and client relations that occur during design and then a fab PM who is equally specialized in fab processes/communications. This shift has proved tremendously helpful in allowing for PMs to better master their craft by not asking them to be experts at everything, and it has helped prevent some of the PMO burnout we were experiencing before. Now we are at a point where we are considering the idea of physically moving the fab PMs to the fabrication building, essentially creating (2) branches within the PMO. Has anyone else worked at or managed a PMO with 2 distinct branches such as this? Any pros and cons you can share? Any tips on how to keep some consistency between the two branches while still allowing them to focus more intently on their particular process?
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Silo thinking can result in finger pointing and a lack of a cohesive e2e solution for clients. While there could be workstream leads, I'm a fan of the "one PM" model...


I could see managing the design side as a project, and the fab side as a project, under one cohesive program... It could make a lot of sense to have specialists at the PM level, since those lines of business are quite different in your environment. But still manage overall delivery of a new business product, as a program consisting of the two projects.

Yeah I agree with Kiron. There's some risk with swapping in and out PM's during a project. It may make sense to have an SME for each phase that works with the PM, or even PM's that sit under a senior PM that is responsible for the entire project (if it is large enough).

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