PMO Roles and Responsibilities Overview

What is the role of a PMO (project management office)?

Project Management Offices (PMOs) operate to ensure your projects are on time, up to date, and have the necessary guidance required for completion, ultimately improving your overall project management process. PMO can be impacted by both an organization’s culture and the complexity of company’s projects. Based on varying cultural and project needs, there are many distinct roles and structures PMOs can take on. Correctly allocating PMO roles and responsibilities provides the ability to create a guide for businesses maintaining different projects at the same time across varying divisions.

PMO Structure and Roles

Depending on the company culture and the scope of the project, different PMO structures and roles will be required. Evaluating types of PMO structures can help your organization uncover which approach will best suit your unique project needs.

For a single large, complex single project, a Project Control Office will likely be a viable component of effective PMO. Project Control Offices tend to be more directive and are built to handle large scale projects and ventures that require multiple schedules.

Within a Control Office, numerous project managers are responsible for segmented schedules. Each segment includes resource requirements and their associated costs. Project Control Offices require project teams that include a single program manager or master project manager for integrating schedules, cost requirements, and to keep the project on track in real time. This structure ensures that all pieces of a complex project are on track to create the success of the overall project and its goals.

For companies with many divisional level projects ranging in complexity and size, a Business Unit PMO will be most effective. Business Unit PMO’s structure and roles allow for the integration of individual projects varying in size.

A Business Unit PMO hybrid structure creates greater efficiency in resource management and the facilitation of assets across many projects and programs. The hybrid form allows for varying levels of governance depending on project needs. The productive distribution of time and resources is often better accomplished across projects with this structure of PMO, which is valuable for companies executing projects that range in complexity, size, and by divisional level.

Project management at a corporate level can be slightly more complex and require PMO structures that coordinate projects and tasks and add perspective to projects across the organization. PMO with greater corporate responsibility is known as Strategic PMO or Enterprise PMO. Strategic PMO facilitates resources across the organization to minimize competition and prioritize evolving projects.

Enterprise PMO responsibilities include monitoring current projects, selecting new projects, and supporting strategic objectives of the organization. This form of PMO is guided by a team made up of a single PMO director, corporate management, and project leads from each business department.

Deciding which PMO structure is right for your business is essential for successful PMO integration. PMOs serve as a reflection of company leadership and company projects; therefore, PMOs need to be properly suited for all that the company culture and project scope may entail. Team members must understand the objectives of the projects and aid in project execution.

PMOs are a valuable project management tool that allow for productive project governance across organizations, ultimately leading to sustainable project success at any scale.

If you are looking to implement a Project Management Office into your business, your first step should include analyzing your company’s project needs and the scale of the project. Then, you’ll be able to evaluate potential individuals for PMO structures and roles who can best foster the growth and development of the project.

Although the value of PMOs is clear, introducing them and properly allocating PMO structures and roles can be complex. Elire is here to help. Visit our Visit our Advisory Services Page to learn more about how our expertise can help assist you with your projects, and reach out to [email protected] to discuss your unique project needs.

For more information on PMO and Project Management efficiency, read our article “Understanding the Future of Project Management,” and sign up for our quarterly Project Management Newsletter to gain access to webinars and articles made specifically for project managers and leaders. In the meantime, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on PMO industry insights and tips for project efficiency.

  • Ms. Caron serves as Elire's Marketing Associate, specializing in content writing and digital media communications. Maddie works to deliver relevant industry updates and technical blog posts to educate and engage Elire's audience.

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