Categorization based on Competency; ( Based on the PMO categorization Article by John Alley,
- project office
- basic PMO
- standard PMO
- advanced PMO
- centre of excellence
you can see what type of service your PMO does, or willing to do /Suppose to do. Based on that, the PMO budgets, the seniority levels of resources, responsibilities, authorities and everything changes.
The difference between a Project Office and Project Management office is that, the Project office delivers Projects within approved budgets and required quality. But Project Management office always look for consistency, and improvements of methodologies, Frameworks you practice, consistent templates, etc.
A Standard PMO establishes capability and support infrastructure while advanced PMO applies the PM capabilities to achieve business objectives. So you need a very senior level manager in your organization as the head of PMO in such level.
There is a Top category called
As I mentioned in one of my previous PMO related posts, you may not be able to setup a center for excellence at once in your organization. You may start with Project office and then improve on that based on the opportunities you have.
Recently I had a chat with a CEO of a SL IT company who had the idea that setting up a PMO is just wasting company resources. But when I asked him why he has very high PM turnover, I found out one reason., PMs do everything for everybody, But there is nobody who can listen to PMs , mentor them., get them on one specific goal., keep them focused. so I told him that he needs some sort of Central management of his Projects.
PMO is not such a magical thing., By knowing or not knowing, we have been practicing PMO concepts in our organizations. I can think back to see what I have been doing 2, 3 years before when I was a Software Development Manager. Though the designation is different, I was responsible for all the projects running in that organization. I had PMs reporting to
Then the next question he asked me was that, they use Agile methods such as extreme Project Management and it might clash with PMO setup? My answer is NO., Because your PMs can use agile methods (infact I have fallen in love with them :))., But you should maintain some consistent between your project management tasks., If I take an example from an offshore software company like ours., there are different types of Projects, some customers insist on Prince2, Some project managers need to practice Agile methods due to the nature of projects ( if they have direct interactions with customers - very rarely though)., some are well defined just for the PMBOK way of management. This is very complicated and its challenging. But no matter which methodology we practice, we need a core, to understand the project issues, management issues, mentor PMs , assign them for right project so on. You can generalize your PMO templates to match all the types of PM methodologies you practice., Though you have daily standup meetings or you have once a week formal project reviews, you need status reports. You need to document important decisions. So try to generalize the templates as much as possible but its always understood that some PMs carry different stuff as user stories reports and so on based on the methodologies they practice.