How To Setup PMO

I will start with the possible pitfalls when establishing Project Management Office.

The major pitfalls are:
1. Doing everything at once – Start with a few easy tasks to prove the efficiency of the PMO
2. Hesitation – Don’t hesitate, be out missioning about the PMO, ask Line Mgrs if you can use their weekly (or monthly) meetings to present the idea.
3. Forgetting important stakeholders – All Line Mgrs, Process owners, PMs etc. are stakeholders. Make sure you have everybody on board.
4. PMO is considered not able to influence the quality of project delivery – Figure out this before you start.
5. The value of a PMO has not been understood higher up in the organization and PMO costs cannot be justified – It’s not enough with a sponsor, you must have the approval of company board (depending on organization size)

The Building Blocks:
Present a number of "blocks" that will be implemented, e.g.
Block 1: Tools, methods and templates for PMs, support to PMs, e.g. mentoring, coaching
Block 2: Project follow up and a common steering group
Block 3: Portfolio Management

Success criteria
1. Keep It Simple
2. Focus on the value of a PMO, find value for all stakeholders before presenting the idea and letting them onboard.
3. Plan
4. Communicate, implementing a PMO is a process and organization change that involves a company much more than a single project.


Some more tips:

1. If you ask 1,000 people what a PMO is, you will get 10,000 answers. There is a huge variety of PMOs out there, and some of them have virtually nothing in common. Some are administrative groups, others house all the project managers in the company, some are tactical, some are strategic, some are in one department (often IT), others are company-wide. PMO is a highly politicized term, so watch out when asking for a "PMO expert" or "how to set up a PMO". People may offer advice that has nothing to do with what your company wants to achieve.
2. There are a lot of books out there on PMOs. Buy several, because of my point #1. They all show different visions of what PMOs can be. Also realize that the books and articles that you read are idealized to some extent. Authors tend to make the organizations and methods seem more successful than they truly are.
3. Make sure everyone agrees on the answer to this question, "Why is your organization creating a PMO?" Figure out its main BUSINESS goals. What outcomes do you want to see as a result? Optimizing schedule, improving regulatory compliance, and reducing costs are all completely different goals. You would structure your PMO differently to address those different goals.

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