When an organization is to initiate several improvement projects as its often happens in larger organizations one often forgets to coordinate all change projects. It often occurs internal conflicts over resources within the organization, this is something a PMO office can prevent.

Furthermore, it is a significantly better way for senior management to follow up all projects in the organization when all project is consolidated and coordinated in a PMO office.

For example, there have been some project cases lately in Norwegian press according to the various challenges related to internal projects within the hospital sector. Without having knowledge of how projects have been organized, Dr. Hole think that by organizing all the projects in a PMO office many of the project challenges can been avoided. It will be easier the top management to control and monitor all projects. In the Norwegian press it has been talk that all restructuring projects within the hospital sector has even led to a fear culture, lack of resources etc. Much of this could have been avoided with a central program office for change management within each hospital.

A PMO office is superb to drive continuous improvement projects in an organization and not just project

What is a PMO?

A PMO is a centralized coordinating unit in an organization (or project) is a hub within project. A PMO has often mandate to identify and address project management issues to support and facilitate the achievement of organizational goals.

What are the benefits of having a PMO?

Investing in a Project Management Office (PMO) as a coordinating unit for project management for common work processes of planning and reporting will contribute to a common framework that can be used to evaluate, justify, define, plan, follow-up and implement projects. A PMO office can also easily contribute to conflict resolution caused by limited resources and other constraints.

Dr. Glenn Hole has led several major PMO offices in major Norwegian companies such as the National School Fruit, Orkla Media Distribution, Lindorff Accounting and Sønnico.

We’ve all experienced project managers that manages projects with their own agenda. A PMO can help your organization to create effective control and supervision of your projects and integrate those with the overall business goals.

Some of the benefits of implementing a PMO include:

  • Establishment of a coordinating unit with a focus on continuous improvement in project
  • Develop or strengthen project management skills and knowledge through training or guidance
  • Ensure consistency and uniformity in project deliveries
  • Reduce project overruns and increase delivery speed
  • Increase customer satisfaction through the achievement of results
  • Creates a centralized benchmark for best practice in project management

What Features Can a PMO Undertake?

Functions performed by the PMO can vary widely. It would in that it largely depends on the organizations’: size, project success, maturity, project experience, level of available skilled project managers, and the level of management support for project management in general.

A PMO office depends on how innovative the organization wants to be. Some of the features are usually:

  • Review and approve project requests and allocate money
  • Develop standard work processes for project management tools and templates
  • Establish and contextualise best practice methodology
  • Develop common expectations and language
  • Allocate project staff and manage all projects centrally
  • Provide training, certification and coaching to build core management skills
  • Follow up status and performance of all the organization’s projects
  • Management of project management discipline and provide in-house training
  • Lead the project’s priorities and management


What is the process for establishing a PMO office?

To establish and start up with a PMO office is just like any other organization of change projects.

  1. Establish roles, objectives and desired outcomes

The role of the PMO office will be different in every organization. Dr. Hole has led PMOs from logistics, to standardization of work processes, turnaround, it projects etc. It is important to consult broadly with stakeholders to establish their ideas and needs and to determine how and where a PMO office will fit in the organization. Dr. Hole think that PMO must lie directly under the top management so that it has the anchoring it requires. All of the PMO led by Dr. Hole has reported directly to the Group Executive Board, the management team or the President and CEO.

  1. Review existing projects and skill levels to identify needs

Often the reasons for establishing a PMO office comes from past mistakes in deliveries of a projects.

  1. A implementation plan is needed

Once you have determined the purpose of your PMO and what you want to achieve so one must prepare the implementation of the PMO. This must be fixed at the very top in the organization with corporate management as top steering PMO. If PMO lacks anchoring in the top management, it will fail. Without anchoring it is better to not have a PMO office.

  1. Establish procedures and processes

Depending on the scope of the PMO it may require evidence of: project approval processes, recruitment and training and liquidity management. Document templates can also be developed. Develop reporting mechanisms and timeframes: A PMO office will most likely be responsible for a number of different reports. For example, it may be necessary that individual projects must report regularly to the PMO. PMO reports on all status to the corporate management.

  1. Review of the PMO

As things change, the organization becomes more mature, new methods evolve, the role and scope of the PMO change.

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