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You need to have a compelling business case which your whole leadership team buys into if you are dealing in a context which doesn't value project management.
If you can't create and sell that business case, don't proceed as it will be an uphill battle and the PMO could be used as the scapegoat for ongoing project challenges.
This is not just for public sector but any type of organization or industry.
Well, you can start talking to the like minded people and create a tentative model for your organization. Take it a maturity level, where your team understands the benefits PMO can bring to the organization you are working for. Also, what additional resources and additional work will be required from all stakeholders in whatever projects your organization have. Once you have all that you may go talk to someone who holds the stick and if you are able to sell it that is when your real challenge starts because any change in the work culture is tough to implement, it is an uphill task. Basically you will be teaching the people a new way of doing the work they are already doing for years or decades. Best of luck!
Walter, do not despair.
In Germany, with our many small and medium business there is no culture of project management. They do not have project managers but rather business people have to run projects as part of their job. And it works for many.
It is a believe we share that dedicated project management can make a difference. There is a lot of data supporting this, but only now a scientific research paper claims that project management is the reason for success.
OK, if you still believe you should start a PMO, take Kiron's advice. I would add you need to find a sponsor who trusts you and is willing to give you a chance to proof your believe is worthwhile. It is good if there is a current crisis, a project gone wrong and they do not know what to do. Many PMO's are seen as the solution to that crisis. Since average PMO lifetime is about 2 years, you can see that many PMOs do not last longer than 2 years. This is because the crisis is over and the sponsor lost interest.
So, besides solving the crisis, a new PMO has to keep the sponsor interested. Creating benefits is easy said, as benefits are specific to a stakeholder (in this case your sponsor or some new sponsor you found). So it is important to understand the interests of the sponsor(s) the PMO can help to satisfy. And yes, in general interests of a sponsor in a public organization are different from that of a private organization. As are interests in a large hierarchical and a small to medium holocratic business.
No more than implementing it into other type of business. I have do that in public (government) and privite organizations from last 30 years.
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