SOURCE: eProject

September 27, 2005 12:32 ET

Four Ways to Create a More Successful Project Management Office (PMO)

Make an Existing PMO Stronger or Create a Successful PMO From the Start

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 27, 2005 -- Project Management Offices (PMOs) provide the oversight and coordination to deliver projects on time and on budget by managing and reporting on your total schedule, risk, cost, quality, scope, and resources across all projects. But many PMOs fail to deliver on the promise, often because they are not properly empowered or equipped with the right tools.

Here are four ideas for either making an existing PMO stronger or creating a successful PMO from the start:

#1) Take the PMO Outside Information Services

Most PMOs are established to manage massive, complex IT projects. But when you really think about it, the business of business is projects. From opening a branch office, to hiring an employee, to developing a new product or service, to auditing financial reports, nearly every business function is essentially about planning, executing, and reporting on projects.

To get an entire enterprise focused on project success, the PMO must be designed, empowered, and equipped to serve the entire enterprise. It must be capable of solving big business problems like selecting the right projects, assigning the right resources to them, and then determining Return on Investment (ROI). It should also provide a collaborative environment for knowledge-sharing, document repository and communication horizontally across project teams and vertically across business line management.

#2) Focus on Methods, Processes and Metrics

The PMO is the guardian of corporate methodology, standards, and metrics. Begin with a thorough review and audit of the implementation of project management in your enterprise to insure good project management practices are being applied. This provides the opportunity for the PMO to streamline methodologies, map out different models, and determine best practices that can be applied across the corporation.

In departments where practices are less than satisfactory, the PMO can provide assistance (i.e., training, coaching, and mentoring) in complying with standard project management practices.

To ensure that methods are being practiced properly, the PMO should have the software tools to provide a business governance dashboard or scoreboard, with a variety of views and reporting such as GANTT charts for projects throughout the enterprise. This dashboard should display agreed-upon project metrics such as strategic alignment or cost/benefit.

#3) Provide On-demand Access to the PMO System

To be fully embraced by all stakeholders, the PMO must permeate the enterprise at every level. The most effective way to do this is to make your PMO system accessible via the web (on-demand) to everyone in the organization. This includes those inside the enterprise, such as executive management, PMO staffers, and internal project team members, as well as constituents outside the enterprise like vendors, partners, and customers.

Too often, a PMO becomes a centralizing force, a bottleneck that hinders project success. The web-based workspace is important for keeping the PMO decentralized and ensuring that knowledge is shared across the enterprise.

#4) Don't Overcomplicate the Process with Complex Tools

Many project management systems are designed for multi-billion dollar corporations, and are complex and expensive. Most companies don't need that level of complexity, and certainly can't afford the high price tags. The trick is to look for project management systems that offer 80 percent of the features of the bigger systems at a fraction of the cost. At minimum, the web-based solution should have:

--  The ability to discuss and solve issues
--  The ability to share documents with version control, check in and out,
    and full history
--  A master project template which can be duplicated for each project
    complete with all project document templates, toolkits, schedules,
    checklists, and a consistent project process
--  A project documentation library allowing project team members to
    update and share information pulling from best practices and adding to
    lessons learned
--  An area to post and update project tasks in real-time
--  The ability to consolidate the information from multiple projects,
    provide mentoring for improvement, and highlight best practices
--  Project scheduling, resource allocation and variance reporting
--  Real-time status, indicators, and reports on all projects in a Project
    Portfolio format
About eProject

eProject ( delivers the only on-demand project and portfolio management solution for the extended enterprise. eProject is an intuitive, unified platform that enables users to maximize project ROI by compressing project cycle times, identifying best practices and optimizing resource allocations, with rapid deployment and quick adoption. eProject is used by more than 350 companies worldwide including BASF, BP, Cushman and Wakefield, Dow Chemical, Honeywell and T-Mobile.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Martin Levy
    Martin Levy Public Relations
    Email Contact