Project Management Institute

Modern virtual project management

the effects of a centralized and decentralized project management office

Researchers have long debated over the challenge of structuring an organization's project management office (PMO) so as to optimize its value. And one core issue in exploring this concern is how the PMO's structure (either centralized or decentralized) shapes the way project managers--particularly those working on virtual projects--communicate, collaborate, and lead. This article examines how a PMO's structure affects a virtual project manager's performance in relation to received training, standardized processes, outlined communication and collaboration approaches, and established leadership behaviors. In doing so, it defines the concepts of virtual project, centralized project management organization, and decentralized project management organization, looking at each in relation to previous studies showing the factors which influence successful project outcomes. It overviews the author's research methodology to survey 73 project managers on how PMOs affect project manager performance.
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