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Practice Areas: Career Development, Consulting, PMO
How do you create a PMO at a small but growing business
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Currently our company has less than 100 employees and only does about 15 million in revenue for now, but is steadily growing at this point and taking on more short term projects.

I'm the only project manager at the company (at least the only PMP) and I'm interested in how I can begin a PMO to assist on projects as projects grow.
Is there a certification for PMOs?

Thank you
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First, identify the purpose you want your PMO to fulfill, based on your company’s current and anticipated project management needs. Do you need a Directive, Controlling or Supportive PMO? See the following link for definitions:
https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/3-different...ent-offices.php
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1 reply by Michael Shanklin
Jul 14, 2017 10:34 AM
Michael Shanklin
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Great first step Eric. At this point I believe a supportive PMO would be best. We need a PMO to assist people with projects assigned to them by echelon upper management. ...to get best practices in motion and to educate non-PMPs as to how to improve their projects.
Also to provide templates and to answer FAQs.
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Jul 14, 2017 10:32 AM
Replying to Eric Simms
...
First, identify the purpose you want your PMO to fulfill, based on your company’s current and anticipated project management needs. Do you need a Directive, Controlling or Supportive PMO? See the following link for definitions:
https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/3-different...ent-offices.php
Great first step Eric. At this point I believe a supportive PMO would be best. We need a PMO to assist people with projects assigned to them by echelon upper management. ...to get best practices in motion and to educate non-PMPs as to how to improve their projects.
Also to provide templates and to answer FAQs.
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I believe that to create this PMO however small first there should be enough interest and support from top management as first, then it should be measured if what you want is a PMO actually or only a project management office with A project leader that is very different, since the PMOs require dedication and enough performance from the members and not just one person leading the whole process.
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I'm not sure a company with 1 PM and short term projects requires a PMO. The need will arise before a purpose is sought, and the need will arise not from a PM, but a business case for a PMO, which at the moment just from the information provided thus far, doesn't seem to be present.
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Michael:
Great to see you step forward as a leader for your organization. I suggest you do two things; plan your growth organically and get some just in time information by listening to my webinar I just gave on PMOs. | https://resources.workfront.com/on-demand-...-of-your-it-pmo
The meaning of "organic" is that you focus on the needs of the people doing the work to drive growth and buyin.
Here are some ideas:
It may start as a simple informal gathering for a brown bag meeting to share tips.
You may also consider contacting the local PMI chapter to get a lunchtime speaker also. You may also just begin to think of way to help each other and use the infrastructure provided by your organization.
I'd also invite your manage to your meetings and organize a simple SWOT analysis with sticky notes the group can share challenges of their PM work and your manager can hear some of their feedback.
Ask how often the group want to hold the meetings and take turn creating an informal or formal agenda.
Thoughts? Let us know if you have more questions. You are doing the right thing; the hardest part is to just start.
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I agree with Eduin, does your company have or anticipate multi, cross functional projects simultaneously, whereby a PMO would be extremely beneficial, a successful PMO is a combination of people, processes and tools, again, top management have to be in favour of this move forward.
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Michael:
There is no official PMI certification for PMO. Yes, as we know, its members may be certified. And their training can take quite some time. I agree with what is mentioned above, to start simply and unipersonal, to move to a support (weather station type). Success!
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Creating a PMO says that senior management agrees with both the need and has committed to increased seeking of Project tasks. If the commitment is there, then the question is 'What is your immediate and mid-term needs toward creating an eventual PMO?'

Right now, with the size and value of contracts (You did no0t mention any potential in the pipeline), it would seem you need some support for proposal writing, research, etc. That does not mean the need for a formal PMO.

Your aim is certainly a good one but think carefully about your plans. First, get some qualified supporting assistance, then begin to get them certified at some level. Get them out to proposal training, and other supporting work with your current clients, such as Mods, and verification/validation activities. Begin to train them for eventual full-time support in your PMO.

As your work increases and management sees what you have evolved for support, continues to encourage your efforts, and sees value in what you have done, the PMO will come.
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Based on the size and needs you've established, you may want to start with a "Steering Committee." It's less abrasive and helps with Change Management as eventually, as the company scales, and more projects and PMs come on board, you can transition the committee to the PMO.

If you don't truly have a large "Portfolio of Programs" impacting cross-org sub-teams... a PMO is probably overkill.
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1 reply by Alexandra Halem
Jul 21, 2017 6:44 PM
Alexandra Halem
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I agree with Mikel, start small and let the PM value grow organically.

Steering Committees and Portfolios are a great way to start and can highlight the body of work your organization is trying to achieve. Giving transparency to all the project connections and conflicts that can possibly be present in your Business Unit may create the "burning platform" you need to get leadership buy-in for a PMO.

Also try creating a project management toolkit and overview session for non-Project Managers setting up a sort of a matrixed relationship structure for yourself as mentor and owner of the Portfolio. I believe everyone runs projects every day, large and small - it's the nature of most work. Helping build some basic skills will also generate organic value for project management and further show the potential need for the more formal PMO structure.

Good Luck!
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The size of the company does not matter. What matters is: the PMO (as a physical business unit) must be create after deciding it because an strategical reason. This is the path. Organizations are open and adaptable systems that interact with the environment. The way they interact is defined by the strategy because strategy defines the functions/process that will respond to the environmental stimulus. So, project mangement functions/process must be defined because they are needed to interact with the environment of to support other key functions to interact. After the organization defined them then the organization must decide about it deserve to create a new physical business unit to locate those functions (project management functions) or to distribute those functions along the existing business unit.
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