The Value of a PMO
Regardless of your project approach, expertise or industry, here are ways the project management office (PMO) offers value to organizations.
As part of a facilities management series on PMIstandards+™ we spoke with project management experts Albert Agbemenu, PMP; Fadi Alshakhshir; and Khaleel Baba, PMP, to understand the value of the PMO to organizations and project managers.
For project managers, day-to-day operations are closely tied to the PMO. From a big-picture perspective, PMOs enable tailored processes to be more strategically oriented within organizations and allow project professionals and teams to directly link daily tasks to their company’s strategy. Ultimately, PMOs have transformed project management operations from being costly, repetitive and routine operations into strategic and valuable work.
A PMO helps project managers to:
- Align with the company’s vision and strategic roadmap
- Participate in its customer journey, and
- Collaborate with the PMO to achieve strategic objectives.
This is reinforced by PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Seventh Edition, which defines a PMO as “a management structure that standardizes project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, tools, methodologies, and techniques” (PMI, 2021, p. 211).
Agbemenu, Alshakhshir and Baba say that the PMO acts as a center of excellence. It creates a link between a project manager and organizational objectives; and it provides a mechanism for project managers to understand topics such as financial management, human resources management, customer service and communication skills.
A project manager who works well with a PMO should:
- Be open-minded,
- Look at the bigger picture,
- Determine the value the PMO will create for stakeholders and
- Understand the type of PMO they work with and its function.
When the PMO and project manager are aligned and focused on the same objectives, they bring the organization together around the same goals. Having unified teams and departments ultimately transforms the way organizations work and positively impacts customer satisfaction.