Project Portfolio Management Office (PMO)

PMO is referred as a Portfolio or Program or Project Management Office. PMO maintains the standards and processes and acts as a central structure to provide assistance to change, transformation and delivery initiatives. PMO establishes better continuity and maintenance of standards throughout the program/project remit and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. It overviews all delivery activity with the organisation and is also known as the “Eyes and Ears of Management”.

PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of program/project management and execution. It acts as a strategic driver for organisational excellence, which seeks to enhance the practices of execution management, organisational governance, and strategic change leadership.

What We Do

We have often been asked this question by CIOs and CEOs “Do we need a PMO”. The answer is “It Depends”. If your organisation is running several projects and programs and they have a strict time, resource and budget constraints, and they have legal or customer implication then the answer is yes.

No matter if your initiatives consist of change, transformation or development projects and programs, there is a 50% probability of failures in delivery until unless they are run in a controlled, collaborative and communicative environment.

At E-Tech we believe in PMO Implementation with a common methodology that is standardised within an organisation and has effective repeatable project management processes. PMO provides a common supporting tool throughout the projects and programs and the objectivity is to reduce project failure, deliver within budget, improve productivity, resource utilisation, communicate in time and plan ahead through supporting and training project, program and team managers.

Why need PMO

According to The Standish Groups CHAOS summary 2009 report, 32% of IT projects are successful having completed on time, budget and with the required functionality. Remaining 68% are considered failure or challenged due to delayed finish time, over budget, incomplete functionality, quality issues, cancelled or completed and never utilised. 32% project failures are due to poor or inconsistent project management, 20% due to communication gaps and 17% due to unclear scope and complexity.

Organisations now realise PMO is needed to introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects and makes it easy for the management to track progress and results, ensure projects follow project management standards and acts as a source of documentation, guidance and metrics hence reduces the risk of project failures.

Key Functions of a PMO

  • Development of project management, best practices, standards, policies, procedures and templates
  • Coaching, mentoring, training and oversight
  • Monitoring and reporting on active projects and portfolios to top management
  • Participant in strategic project management and tends to be a facilitator or actively owns the project management process
  • Supports the program/project teams in running day to day project activities
  • Acts as a central control for resource management including capability development and demand/Supply planning

Types of PMO

PMO varies in type depending on the organisation’s requirement. Not one size fits all. It varies in shape and size. Key aspects can be project support office, project/program office, project/program management office, enterprise PMO or portfolio management office. PMOs not only vary from organisation to organisation but each organisation can have number of PMOs and they can be departmental initiatives, geographically dispersed etc. Mostly functionality of PMO differs on the different types such as supportive, controlling or directive.

  • DirectionalQuite directional and supervisory approach. PMO takes lead in selection and prioritising new initiatives and projects in the pipeline. Resources allocation and management done based on portfolio level rather than project level by PMO. Practical in large organisations with mature PMOs and portfolios, best practice exercised and PMO acts as a decision making function. Uniformed and standardised project management process in place.

  • Monitoring and Controlling Eyes and ears of the management. Main function of this role revolves around the consolidation of all program/project information and timely presenting to the management/board with accuracy. This role ensures a standardised and uniform methodology in running a project usually a gated approach and stable activities, processes, procedures and documentation. PMO collates all information from workstream/project manager for each project including monthly financials (budget, forecast, actuals, accruals and variance), RAIDs, milestone and deliverable updates. Once collated, PMO then consolidates and produces summary level reports i.e. SteerCo packs, program board packs, business technical boards and program management meetings.

  • Support and Administration PMO support and administration revolves around provision of templates and forms. Mainly helping and supporting the project managers in daily admin tasks such as time booking queries, booking meetings, RAIDs log updates, financial information updates in the tracker, plan updates etc. They deal with the project suppliers when it comes to the invoicing and raising of purchase orders. They usually file all project related documents and version control. Organisations where projects are performed on less structured methodologies and mostly are stand alone projects usually work around this approach.