Project Management Office ( PMO )

Almost anyone can come up with ideas when needed. However, not every idea presented to an organization is a good one with feasible returns. So as the Harvard Business Review put it, “Creativity is not enough”. Do you own or work in an enterprise/business? Have you experienced the falling through of a mismanaged project? If yes was your reply to any of these questions, then the PMOs were developed with you in mind. Are you wondering what a PMO is? In the course of this article, we will answer that and other questions including why a PMO is a must-have, what the services of a PMO would cost you, and some divisions of PMOs.


PMO meaning

What Is PMO?

The acronym PMO stands for Project Management Office. Project management offices first saw light in the 1800s and have evolved to become what we know today. The expression project management office, however, first appeared in 1939. The aim behind the development of this team was to bring better control over project/program management. At times, however, a PMO could represent a Portfolio Management Office or a Program Management Office.


Types Of Project Management Offices

Although there is no clear line of division showing where the functions of one form of PMO end and where those of another begin, here are some types of PMO;

  1. Divisional PMO– This type of PMO works on projects related to specific units in the organization. Their functions include project coordination, training, portfolio management, and resource allocation/planning.

  2. Enterprise PMO– Unlike other PMOs that are more or less department-centered, the enterprise PMO has a broad reach of influence. This enhances corporate support and yields a better impact on strategy execution. Enterprise-wide PMOs do better than departmental PMOs because although departmental PMOs are effective, their activities are not recognized outside their department. In essence, they are limited in influence across the organization. In terms of hierarchy, the departmental PMOs report to the enterprise PMO in large organizations where these two coexist.

  3. Project PMO– The project PMO can be established solely to work on an immediate project. In other words, this office can be formed and last for the period of one large-scale project. They function in monitoring, reporting, controlling, and administrative support.

  4. Project Management Excellence Center– The project management CoE (Center of excellence) sets the standards of project management, project managing procedures, tools, and methods to support other teams in the organization. Their functions include training, administrative services, tools, and methodology.

Remember, a project management office can take on almost any role possible, however, the extent of influence depends on the structure of the office within the enterprise. The roles of project management offices fall into three major ones. They are the supportive, directive, and controlling roles.

  • Supportive; that is as a consultant.

  • Controlling; for example, the team requests for the compliance of other departments, teams, or individuals.

  • Directive; Overseeing the progress of projects; controlling and supervising the projects.

Why Should You Get A PMO?

In 2017, 71% of organizations had hired the services of an office to manage projects. However, in 2007, the percentage of companies that had a PMO was 61%. Why did these business owners decide to get a PMO and by extension, why should your business hire a PMO? Here are a few functions of a PMO:


Cost Control– A big role that the Project Management Team plays is cost control. Rather than throw several dollars into a project you “believe” will be a success and provide gre