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Topics: Organizational Project Management, PMO, Portfolio Management
How to structure a PMO in a matrix IT organization
In case of matrix organization with programs of different level of effort, where will you place the PMO and what kind of programs will this office manage?
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It depends on the purpose/mandate for the PMO and the scope of projects/programs which it is responsible for. If you are strictly looking at the technology portfolio and the PMO is playing a supportive role, it is common for it to be a separate department within the IT division reporting to the CIO.

Kiron
They can be at multiple levels. Once an organization becomes large enough, there are project opportunities within the scope of the individual functions. As multiple functions are grouped under a higher level business unit, there may be a *project* management office where the functions integrate. Then you may have a *program* management office with oversight over different product lifecycle phases.
It depends on the organization and the purpose of the PMO.

You need to ask yourself if you want a supportive PMO that should simply be a service unit providing tools to others as needed or
if it is a primary function for training and supporting project managers and ensuring project quality?

Depending on the answer and the maturity of your PMO team you can decide what division to put it in and who is the driver of the department. Strategically, you would want to place the PMO at the level where it will be referred to for its purpose.

If the PMO is responsible of project portfolios and management of resource assignations for projects you want it at the executive level as it will make sure to priorities the right projects for the business strategy.

However not all organizations can champion a PMO at the C-suite level and sometimes it can be assigned to the department where the leader knows how to sponsor such a cell. I've often seen PMO departments in the IT or Finance organization, rarely at the executive level.
The flexibility and adaptability of the PMO depends on the organizational setup of the entity.
In a matrix you have at least 2 dimensions (functional / projects) of key stakeholders. Involve them all, engage with them.

If you only serve the project managers, you will not be able to help them overcome matrix conflicts (like resource assignment, portfolio prioritisation).

A way might be to use or establish a steering committee where both dimensions are represented.

One benefit you might look at is integration of the functional silos.

Thomas
I agree, it has to depend on the type of PMO. You are going to structure a Directive PMO very different than a Supportive PMO and different again for a EPMO. So, what is the type will drive the structure and Service Offerings.
As everyone writes, 'it depends'. In my opinion it depends on the importance effective project delivery is to the corporation. If project delivery is critical to corporate survival you need to apply resources and delegate authority accordingly. If your projects are mostly within functional lines then maybe project support through training and mentoring is the way to go.

Development and structure of a project management office should be based on a risk/benefit analysis.
With globalization and multiple reporting, the matrix organization has become overly complex. When a resource needs to adjust his/her time between two different projects, it becomes challenging for him as there are two different managers involved with varying priorities. In this case, PMO has a very important role t play to ensure that the resource spends his time diligently in projects as per allocation.

I am including some articles which you may find interesting in managing PMO:

https://www.saviom.com/blog/pmo-roles-resp...s-organization/
https://www.saviom.com/blog/the-basics-of-epmo-framework/
...
1 reply by Adrian Carlogea
May 02, 2021 7:18 PM
Adrian Carlogea
...
Calling people resources in this context sounds horrible to me. I try to avoid using this term but in some circumstances I can accept it. For example if we talk about all the people involved in an initiative as the human resource then it is acceptable for me. Also the Human Resources department is an acceptable name to me too.

However calling individual human beings as resources sounds very bad to me. It is dehumanization. The next step to this is probably calling the team members with the pronoun "it" instead of "he" or "she". The resource is basically an object and "it" is the appropriate pronoun.

"When a resource needs to adjust his/her time between two different projects."

I think it would have been better to say when an employee needs to adjust his/her time [...].
Apr 30, 2021 7:47 AM
Replying to Mahendra Gupta
...
With globalization and multiple reporting, the matrix organization has become overly complex. When a resource needs to adjust his/her time between two different projects, it becomes challenging for him as there are two different managers involved with varying priorities. In this case, PMO has a very important role t play to ensure that the resource spends his time diligently in projects as per allocation.

I am including some articles which you may find interesting in managing PMO:

https://www.saviom.com/blog/pmo-roles-resp...s-organization/
https://www.saviom.com/blog/the-basics-of-epmo-framework/
Calling people resources in this context sounds horrible to me. I try to avoid using this term but in some circumstances I can accept it. For example if we talk about all the people involved in an initiative as the human resource then it is acceptable for me. Also the Human Resources department is an acceptable name to me too.

However calling individual human beings as resources sounds very bad to me. It is dehumanization. The next step to this is probably calling the team members with the pronoun "it" instead of "he" or "she". The resource is basically an object and "it" is the appropriate pronoun.

"When a resource needs to adjust his/her time between two different projects."

I think it would have been better to say when an employee needs to adjust his/her time [...].

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