Building the PMOProject Management Office

Starting a PMO? Question Yourself First!

Establishing a PMO is more like initiating a new project. The execution steps also include analysis of the situation to design a tailor-made concept and proceed to implement. The only difference here is that PMO should be accustomed to the organization’s current project management maturity.

In this article at Project Management for Today, Laura Barnard shares four essential questions to ask yourself before forming a PMO for your organization.

The Baseline

Formation of a PMO depends entirely on the track record of the IT department. To initiate it, look at the overall IT operations first, determine what you want to accomplish and why, and then figure out the areas that improvements. A generic framework can give guidance for establishing a PMO. Therefore, seek answers to these questions:

  1. What Business Problem are We Trying to Solve?

Starting something new must have a clear purpose. So, find the purpose that your PMO will address. Your mission is to bring positive outcomes that positively impacts the organization growth. To do so, have clarity over business pain points, challenges, or new opportunities that the PMO will resolve. Talk to the business leaders to learn about the space that may create an opportunity for the PMO.

  1. How will the PMO Show Quick Value?

The business leaders will invest time, money and resources in stepping up the PMO. Their investment demands best outcomes, even greater than the invested time, money and resources. Therefore, be clear about the ways PMO will resolve the existing business problems and determine how you can ease the pain points of the stakeholders.

  1. Who will be the Primary Sponsor?

Like a project, you need to have a sponsor to build the PMO. It would work best in your favor if the PMO sponsor would be the CEO or department leader of your organization. Try and gain the confidence of higher-ups in your organization to support the PMO. In case you cannot grab their attention, then skip the idea of building the PMO, go back to the first question and figure out where you are lacking and how that impacts your stakeholders.

  1. Who is Ready to be With Me?

This part defines the stakeholders who are willing to fund your PMO. The author describes three kinds of stakeholders — ‘the lovers’, ‘the haters’ and the ‘just don’t care’. The lovers will support your PMO and may go out of their way to help you succeed. The haters will bluntly say ‘No’ for the PMO while the third category of ‘just don’t care’ stakeholders will completely ignore if you proposed something. This is one category of stakeholders that is essential to you as they might turn others against your PMO and tarnish your efforts.

The author suggests, if you get answers to the above questions, move to the next phase of your PMO building and conquer other hurdles to get the desired results. Click on the following link to read the unedited version:

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