PM Earth

Project Office Categories

14 October 2007

Project Management Office Categories

Although the four types of PMOs – general, supportive, controlling, and directive – match the four types of PMO services, this does not mean that a PMO of one type offers only that type of services. All PMOs will probably offer three or four types of service. When a PMO is assigned a type, it means that that PMO will put most of its effort into that one type of service. The focus on one service type:

  1. Establishes an approach to customer service
  2. Defines how the PMO relates to stakeholders
  3. Defines what the PMO offers to executives
  4. Defines how the PMO benefits the organization

If the PMO sponsor and the PMO manager choose one approach, or a series of approaches over time, it has these benefits:

The way the PMO is perceived by customers is chosen by the PMO, rather than arising by accident. This avoids confusion and conflict about the role of the PMO, increasing its effectiveness.

The way the PMO relates to customers and stakeholders is decided before the PMO team is selected. This allows the PMO manager to choose people who fit the approach the PMO will take. The result is an effective team that shares a common approach to customer service.

The PMO services to executives are defined early. This increases executive support for the PMO. When a PMO has solid executive support, it can effect organizational change more rapidly.

The way the PMO will benefit the organization is defined early. This allows the PMO to set a strategic direction most beneficial to the organization and to keep the focus on long-term strategic objectives.

If the PMO Sponsor and PMO Manager understand types of PMOs, they can chart a course for the PMO that makes it most effective for the organization and increases its chances of long-term success. The first step is to understand each type of PMO. The material in the next four sections and this Project Management Software provides that understanding.


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