Project Management Central

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Topics: Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Project Managment Office Size

Has anyone gathered information on the ideal ration of project managers to other project staff in an internal PMO? I'm interested in this from an efficiency standpoint. If say a corporation has a staff of 40 in a PMO office and a well defined means for initiating, implementing and tracking projects, what percentage of those 40 need to be PMs compared with project leads or analysts, administrative staff, subject matter experts, etc. Any one doing similar research?


PMO ratios are dependent on size and
complexity of projects managed, PM level
of maturity and understanding, culture,
and reporting requirements. Still, your
total administrative costs should not exceed
10 to 20 percent of the value of projects
in the PMO portfolio, varies according to
industry, so that those working at a defense
contractor would have higher adman costs
than let's say the same complexity of a
project in a commercial environment that
doesn't use cost/schedule/control reporting
and earned value issues.

Object-oriented development methodology will
add to adman costs, as well as CMM.

As a starting point, I suggest you 1st look
at your project managers and make sure each
one is managing at least 12 to 14 people. I
personally don't think it is a good idea to
include project leads as part of the PMO
staff simply b/c these folks should not be
spending more than 10 percent of their time
on administrative matters, IMHO. Project
leads should be focused on technical matters
and let the PMs work the business side.

If you're working in a commercial
environment, the ratio between project
managers and planners is 5 or 6 to 1, again
depending on complexity and reporting

I have worked in PMOs where one person did
nothing but maintain the WBS, so your mileage
may vary.

The PM ratio of 12 to 14 staff members to 1
PM is important b/c that's usually what it
takes to justify a fulltime PM, otherwise,
you'd have a project lead leading the
smaller projects and reporting to a PM.

BTW, for other functional areas, there are
published ratios which of course vary from
industry to industry.

I hope I gave you some food for thought.

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