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PMO Meaning, Everything You Need to Know About PMO

November 25, 2022
PMO Meaning, Everything You Need to Know About PMO

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We would all want to work in a team with the best of the best. Unfortunately having a talented team is not enough by itself to have a successful business. Their individual talents will go to waste If they are not working like a well-oiled machine. Failure is imminent without communication, time, and project management.

If you are having these problems and you desire efficiency, PMO can be the thing your business needs. Let us teach you the PMO meaning.

pmo meaning

What does PMO acronym mean?

There are many reasons a project can fail especially in big companies. Project Management Office (PMO) is comprised of professionals with expertise in managing projects and helping them be successful. They can be internal or external groups, which means that they can be selected from your company, or you can hire professionals. Either way, if you are having trouble with your project that is the place to go.

Their popularity has been increasing since the 2000s for a reason. This group strategies the best course of action for projects. Then they show how teams can apply this to their works with the utmost efficiency. With their scheduling techniques. missing deadlines and not knowing when to start a project becomes a thing of the past. It is shown that having an office dedicated to project management can increase the success rate of projects.

Optimization is key in PMO, they are here to make sure everything is on track. This team of professionals keeps an eye on every member, project, and metric. With extensive research and analysis, they figure out what can make your project fail. Pinpointing the problem early on keeps the team on the right path.

Which is better? Internal PMO vs. external PMO

The duties of internal PMOs and external PMOs are similar, they both aim to help you conduct your business easier, but they have some fundamental differences as well. Internal PMOs mainly focus on the team members and improving their project plans. One of the perks of creating a PMO internally is that they are familiar with the company. They are aware of how this business operates and what its goals are. Having first-hand experience from a company would help them create better plans. If you don't think they are skilled enough they can always enroll in a project management training program. We also have a blog about managing your team you can check out.

Hiring external PMOs is a relief because you know they will be beneficial to your company from their history. It might take some time for them to analyse how your business works, they most certainly will come up with great plans to improve your projects. Unlike internal PMOs, they have no emotional connection to the company they are working at. This makes it easier for them to be objective when it comes to planning and budgeting. They also focus more on the people outside of the team such as your customers.

We cannot say one is better than the other, both internal and external PMOs have their advantages and downsides. It is up to your company to decide which one would be more suitable according to your needs.

Different names for a PMO

There are many acronyms related to PMO, and it can be confusing, and you may struggle to try to understand what each one of them means. The reason for different names is that these organizations can change in terms of reporting and strategy. The meaning of PMO can change from business to business. What they need to do is to determine what their goals are and how can a PMO support them better. Therefore, this acronym can mean project management office, program management office, portfolio management office, or many more. Think of this list as a glossary of PMO, the main thing that changes is the “P” in PMO, which is what determines how this organization will be helpful to your business.

PSO - Project Support Office

The main duty of a PSO is to organize and plan multiple projects, this office makes sure every project is running smoothly. This is where it differs from a PMO, a PMO’s duty is to manage while a PSO plays a more supportive role.

PgMO - Program Management Office

Unlike PMOs, PgMOs don’t oversee projects, their goal is to help make programs successful. They also help create and control business strategies. In some cases, PMOs can report to PgMOs because the multiple projects they are managing create a program.

PPMO - Project Portfolio Management Office

Multiple projects and programs create a portfolio, and a Project Portfolio Management Office’s duty is to oversee them. Also, they inform and give insight into the state of affairs to the stakeholders and managers. They are the executive decision-makers.

EPMO - Enterprise Project Office - Enterprise Program Office - Enterprise Portfolio Office

EPMO oversees all variants of PMO, it is responsible for the right execution of every project, program, and portfolio. It determines the strategies and standards and makes sure everyone is following them.

What are the 3 types of PMO?

PMO is not a one size fits all. Every company can have different needs and expectations from a Project Management Office. Since their shortcomings may differ from business to business. Even teams from the same company can have trouble completing their projects for different reasons. This resulted in the creation of three types of PMO which are supportive, directive, and controlling.

  1. Supportive PMO: They are a helpful hand in times of need. This is not as strict as other ones, a supportive PMO lets team members decide If they need help or not. They cannot enforce rules but aid them with tools and consultations.
  2. Directive PMO: Project Management Office holds full control of your projects. Everything has to be done according to their rules. There is no flexibility, unlike the supportive PMO.
  3. Controlling PMO: Think of this as the best of both worlds. PMO is here to help and determine the ground rules. They help with necessary tools and training, but you still have some freedom doing the project.
3 types of pmo

How to pick the best type of PMO for you?

Now that you know about the different types of PMOs it is time to choose the most suitable one. Think about the needs of your job, is it a government job that requires utmost care or is it a small company where freedom is valued? Controlling PMO is the most common among these, it is the happy medium with flexibility, but you know they have your back. If you are working for a smaller company a supportive PMO could be the best for you, but a stricter place like a government office may prefer a directive type.

picking the right pmo

What are the responsibilities of a PMO?

Project Management Office is your guide to efficient working. Their primary duty is to eliminate wasting time, money, and most importantly your efforts. With their help, you focus on your work and not worry about the risk of failing a project. But how do they do these things? Here is a list of things they do to make your life easier:

  • Optimize project management for the team’s benefit
  • Make project selection easier
  • Reduce the stress that comes from deadlines andproject failure
  • Manage the risks
  • Keep track of finances and make sure no project isover the budget
  • Following what team members are doing
  • Make sure there are no miscommunications that mightresult in complications
  • Keeping documents and reports on projects
  • Providing a project history
  • Keeping track of what is beneficial for the team andwhat is not
  • Review the project and give feedback

In short, they do the heavy lifting, so all your team has to do is focus on completing the project. Productivity is increasing while everything is in check. No more dwelling on details. PMO has your back.

Is PMO a difficult job?

After reading everything there is to know about PMOs, it can start sounding like a very interesting job option. When it comes to the question of whether or not PMO is a difficult job we cannot give an answer to that. It depends on your skill set, problem-solving abilities, and the company you are thinking of working with. It has many elements you must keep in mind. Different types of PMOs will have different expectations from you. If you are thinking that you will thrive in a job like a supportive PMO but being a directive PMO is not a good fit for you, you might want to consider your decision. This job can be stressful due to the nature of every task depending on you. Yes, you will be taking the stress off the shoulders of whichever team is working on that company but now you will be responsible for everything.

If you have made your decision on following this career path, we recommend you get proper education on being a part of a PMO. You can get the necessary courses on the internet, Google offers a professional project management certificate for free.

Who needs a PMO?

Does your company have trouble meeting the deadlines? Is communication so bad that nothing is getting done? Does no one know which tools to use for project management? If your answer is yes, PMO may be the thing you need.

Especially big companies have so many tasks in hand that it becomes common for them to have mix-ups and miscommunications. It is hard to keep in contact with every different department. An internal or external project management office can help you put your teams in line. It keeps productivity high and costs low. You will see the benefits once customer satisfaction increases.

Of course, several companies are content with the way they do their work. So, a PMO may not be suitable for them because a team of project managers changing their system can lead to decreased morale and performance.

PMO - project on office management

According to the PM Solutions research that in 2016 85% of companies were working with PMOs while this number was 48% in the year 2000. So why did it become so popular? When the data is compared to the previous years, productivity and task completion rate have increased in companies that started working with PMOs. Since the deadlines are not missed anymore and everything is so efficient, profit increased. This made both teams and customers happy.

If your team is having trouble with project scheduling, miscommunications and budget problems keep this information about Project Management Offices in mind.

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