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PMO Development / Creation
Good afternoon. What's the best approach to the establishment of a PMO. Looking for tips
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Hi Linda

there is not a best approach but one that suits your situation.

Average lifetime of a PMO is about 2 years and this might be fine if they solve a problem and then are dismissed. So make sure you understand what the problem is and what the purpose of the PMI is.

Then, assuming you have a sponsor, what does he or she want as benefit? I have seen many sponsors loosing interest after the main problem is solved. Make sure you have an initial sponsor but build a base of sponsors / powerful supporters soon.

Identify other key stakeholders and their potential benefits. Make sure to deliver benefits, not functions or processes only.

Avoid tools at this stage.

Consider the PMO to be program or a set of projects, temporary and extended as you deliver benefits. Stay humble.

There are many more tips and there is a plethora of books and methods.

I started my first PMO in 1995 and my last 2018.


Good luck

The same approach organizations take for creating a new business unit can be followed. Basically, organizations are open and adaptable systems which interacts with the environment. The way they interact is thanks their defined functions/procedures. Main objectives for organizations are survive, growth and develop. Because of that they define strategies and functions/procedures are selected and configured aligned with the strategy. Regarding project management first step is to define if related functions/procedures have to be part of the strategy because they help to the main objective. With that on hand is time to decide if a new business unit deserves to be open (can call it PMO) or not. In the second case, adopted for some organizations, those functions/procedures are distributed along some existent business units.
Linda -

I recommend starting with a charter that will be used to get shared understanding and buy-in from all senior stakeholders to the rationale behind and the scope of the PMO's services.

Also, make sure that a PMO IS the right answer for the problems your leadership team is attempting to solve.

Just to add a little bit to my colleagues above, if you do a bit of research to the different types of PMOs, you will see things like Supportive, Controlling, and Directive PMOs. You can also look at things like the 9-type PMO model for how they fit within an organization.

I think Sergio had the most descriptive explanation of what both Thomas and Kiron touched on is the actual purpose/function/problem solved by a PMO.

An organization is a system of interrelated parts and systems perform various functions. We even use the word "functional" teams to describe parts of an org chart. What functions does the PMO intend to perform?

A practical example of this is where the ideas are generated. In some cases, a PMO may generate strategic ideas and launch projects to achieve the goals bringing in the other groups as needed. In other cases, design teams generate ideas and bring them through a PMO for approval/sponsorship. A PMO may lead root cause projects to facilitate design teams generating ideas in a structured way. Those are just a few broad examples, but not all PMOs have the same functions, so before writing a charter, understand the intended functions and how they fit into your organization.
The first steps you should take are:
* Define the level of maturity in Project Management of the company
* Establish the type of organization (functional, matrix, or projectized)
* Define the involvement/interest of stakeholders in the project
* Establish the type of PMO that best fits your organization's needs (support, control or directive)

For design and requirements phase:
*Define the PMO's areas of responsibility in detail
*Methods and processes to implement
*Tools and resources needed to carry it out
Kiron and Sergio made good points and suggestions. However, as Thomas mentioned, there is not a "one size fits all" approach.
Hi Linda! I recently did one of the PM Unviersity courses offered through this site, and I found it really helpful (bonus: you get PDUs for completing it!).

Check out the Business Driven PMO Set Up course here if you'd like to complete it:

One of the main takeaways I found really valuable is in the second module of the track: thinking about a process-oriented mindset rather than a methodology-oriented mindset when you're establishing a PMO.

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