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Topics: IT Project Management, Leadership, PMO
What role does a separate PMO have when using a System Integrator with project management responsibilities?

In several State Government agencies, an independent PMO is used in conjunction with a DDI System Integrator. The challenge comes from where does the State PMO start and end and What role does the SI have in the area of Project Management. Many of the RFP's for DDI seek a System Integrator. The RFP's have project management requirements of the SI. And the State usually has their own PMO. So the questions is to lead a discussion on what roles do each play, how should requirements be worded so there is no confusion, and what should the expectations be on an independent PMO when the SI has project management requirements.
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In my experience (not in State Government Agencies), the SI project manager is only responsible for their staff. I've partnered with SI project managers, taking the lead for the project schedule, and we would meet regularly to review status of our teams, discuss any issues, and update the schedule. The SOW/Contracts outlined their responsibility versus ours. Having our PMO involved helped to provide overall governance.

It's pretty simple; the State is the Contract Administrator for the awarded contract to the final bidder. The bidder may be a SI with many subcontractors to provide for example: PM, BA, SE etc. The State normally setups a PMO Office which is in charge of the oversight for the entire contract and the SI normally sets up their own PMO office to address a 1-3 or 3-5 year contract with extensions included.

Your questions seem to be related to how to submit a bid for an RFP; if so you might want to get some guidance from some of your colleagues in the field and check out this website.

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Assuming the Systems Integrator can also be Master Systems Integrator i.e. there would only be one entity responsible for this function. The PMO should be performing the role of program management with the PM responsibility for the different disciplines residing with the relevant providers/contractors. So you would effectively have the PM functions of each rolling up into the PMO keeping in mind that there is no reason why you could not have an overlapping responsibility in certain areas.It might also mean that a contractor PMO might function on the Project level rather than the Program level since the government (or prime contractor) PMO would fulfill the Program Management function. One very important concept - Steering Committee, else it all goes BOOM!

An external PMO is basically an extended arm of customer, monitoring the Project progress on behalf of the owner. In that sense they are a link between SI PM & Owner.

Kurt -

On complex programs involving multiple delivery and control partners, the individual organization's PM standards & policies need to be incorporated into a governance framework for managing the program. By creating such a playbook covering the rules of engagement, it avoids jurisdictional disputes and provides decision makers a chance to work through "what if" scenarios before they have to do so under fire.


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