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What is the role of a PMO and how does it continue to evolve?

03 April 2016

When talking about Project Management Offices (PMOs), we need to remember that each PMO is uniquely different. 

In some organisations, the goal of the PMO is to guide project managers so they understand the strategic importance of decisions taken by the organisation and play an active role to improve performance and profits.

Whereas elsewhere, the goal of a PMO is simply to provide administrative support to a number of projects within a portfolio and not contribute to the investment and strategic planning of the company.

There are different schools of thought about what the PMO does.

The PMO may implement regulations that fit within a company's work culture to reduce inefficiency and lack of responsibility. The strategy and approach that a PMO manager takes in which to improve processes will vary. That's because in some organisations, the PMO within an organisation takes direction from the top in the form of an ePMO (Enterprise Project Management Office). Whereas in other companies, the individual divisions / business units direct and manage projects at their complete discretion. These may only provide key reporting and financial metrics to the ePMO.

The role of the PMO regardless of how its structured, should be to set up key processes and apply performance metrics to projects thereby enhancing the overall corporate performance.

Think of the PMO as the beating heart. It's increasingly becoming a vital function of the business and increasingly becoming more responsible for managing and monitoring people, time, money and effort applied to projects. It's constantly evolving and looking for ways to improve productivity and reduce costs. 

The PMO in today's environment is becoming more and more dynamic, taking on more responsibilities and helping to drive strategic outcomes whilst facing everyday business challenges.

The question is how will the PMO evolve further in the coming years?

Your feedback is always welcome.