Portfolio, Program & Project management Office (PMO)

"Doing the right things" & "Doing the things right" in your PMO

Despite the performance of today's team leaders, it is worth noting that the targets achieved in terms of quality and deadlines rarely exceed 10%. Is this due to a lack of management tools? Lack of operational strategy? There are several reasons for this failure. Inefficiency is most often the result of a flaw in project management. This includes a lack of communication and neglect of risk prevention (e.g. crisis or deadlock). Digitalisation is also an aspect that any company wishing to progress must master, whether at the level of the transition or its deployment. This is where the implementation of a PMO comes in. How can we understand the Project Management Office? What are its real missions? Let's look at the details of a project management office.


** Project Management Office (PMO): description and working methods **
The Project Management Office is defined as a group or office set up to define the entire project management process. It can be either internal or external. To go back a little further into the genesis of the PMO, it essentially derives from an Anglo-Saxon concept that is known in France by the acronym PMO or by a project management office. Although it has not always had the same objectives as those of today, the PMO has always evolved around the steering and management of projects and/or programmes.


** The key objective of a PMO **
The main aim of a PMO is to improve the success of company projects. How can this be achieved? In particular by deploying a more reliable management strategy, the necessary resources, etc. One could deduce that his purpose is no different from that of a Manager. The difference is that he also acts in a way as a quality control and can put pressure on him if he does not manage to carry out his tasks within the set deadlines.

According to some experts, the PMO will act as a 'catalyst' in order to pass on instructions and make progress, especially in times of crisis. In particular, it will ensure the completion of projects under complex conditions and with very limited deadlines.


** The different types of Project Management Office **
Whatever the sector of the company, it is possible to set up project and programme management. Among the types of PMO, there is a distinction between

* The Operational PMO: This expert is involved in the operational management of projects. His/her job is to support the project manager both in carrying out his/her tasks and in finding a more effective technique for making things happen. In this case, he/she is obliged to deploy various management tools.

* The Central PMO: The Central PMO will manage a portfolio of projects. He will also be responsible for budget monitoring. His role will therefore focus on a more specific area so that he can ensure regular and effective monitoring of project management processes.

* The Strategic PMO: The Strategic PMO will be attached to the IT Department or the Information Systems Department. His work will therefore be more technical. He/she must implement strategic objectives. He/she will be required to lead the teams involved in improving project management processes. He/she must accompany structural changes and digital transitions. For example, managing the IT risks of the company that has hired him/her is one of his/her main tasks.


** The main roles of a PMO **
Before going into detail, it is essential to remember that a PMO is not only a professional. It can also be an office or a department. Similarly, it is difficult to draw up a list of missions for him/her. His or her work is more or less extensive depending on the case and the problems he or she has to solve. However, we can nevertheless distinguish the guidelines for his intervention. Among his main tasks, we think in particular of:

* Strategic planning and good management, including the design and implementation of project management tools,

* Resource management: which resource for which project, priority, etc,

* Performance improvement in project delivery,

* Implementation of standards to achieve positive and profitable results (strategies, disciplines, etc.),

* Project portfolio management,

* Coaching and mentoring of managers and staff.


** The PMO and the project manager: two key positions in crisis or transition management **
It seems appropriate to clarify the role of the PMO and the project manager. Although their missions are broadly similar, they are distinct when you think about it.

The tasks of a Manager have evolved over the years. They are no longer limited to the basic tasks of managing projects and delivering them on time. Nowadays, they must also take into account the benefits required to make each project profitable. But also, they must understand the importance of communication in managing a project.

Project management has become increasingly collaborative. The PMO is involved in ensuring more extensive coordination. Particularly between project managers. However, his work does not stop there. They also have to design and implement strategic objectives to make the teams more efficient, to meet delivery deadlines while providing quality work, etc. In short, to ensure the smooth running of the project. In short, to ensure the smooth running of the business and the optimisation of performance.

** The role of the PMO in a nutshell **
To summarise the role of the PMO and to help you assess whether you need one, we can differentiate them into four key areas:

* The facilitator role: bringing in the best techniques, methodologies and strategies, and providing programme input.
* The coach role: leads and manages the whole team. His aim is to get all members to improve their productivity and performance. He will work as a coach to apply normative practices and share his know-how.
* Acting as a quality control: he will serve as a warning in certain situations and get the teams back on track.
* Your partner: the PMO will take the right decisions to accelerate the work to achieve the success of your project.

Some facts and figures

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