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Six Reasons You Need a PMO

March 3 2014

We all have many wants in our lives but only a handful of needs—food, clothing, and shelter being the top three. Similarly, companies may want many things, but really only find a few things absolutely necessary for survival. A Project Management Office (PMO) should be at top of that list of priorities, along with sales, profits, and growth. Read on for the:

Six Reasons You Need a PMO

  1. Consistent Methodology – The bane of many organizations is when departments and groups develop home-grown ways of completing projects. Some processes may work beautifully, some may work terribly; the point is that none are consistent with each other or across the organization. You need a common project management methodology. A PMO allows everyone in the company to speak the same language and follow consistent processes.

  2. Economies of Scale – It’s not uncommon for a company to have a half dozen or so timesheet or project management applications within a company, each with its own financial cost for implementation and training personnel. A PMO implements affordable and sustainable enterprise-wide solutions.

  3. Objective Opinions – Departments running their own projects can sometimes be compared to a fox watching a henhouse. Project sponsors may be looking for the current status of a project, but a departmental project manager may stretch the truth just a bit so that their department is viewed in a favorable light. A PMO provides an unbiased and objective opinion regarding the status of a project. This is invaluable to project stakeholders and executives.

  4. Perpetual Improvement – A PMO is always on the lookout for new and better ways to get things done. They have the benefit of aggregating lessons learned from previous projects and the missive of implementing those best practices across the organization. Additionally, there are countless opportunities for project managers to continue their education and bring newfound knowledge back to their companies.

  5. Transcends Departments – “Why can’t we all just get along?” is a common refrain in many companies. One department may go head to head with another department over unrealistic demands or unreasonable timelines. A PMO can mediate their heated conversations and keep everyone focused on the bigger picture. Members of the PMO can facilitate sessions between departments for the purpose of identifying root cause and coming up with alternatives.

  6. Reduces Cost – All of the benefits of a PMO as described above are realized at the bottom line. As unnecessary tangible expenses are uncovered, such as paying for multiple versions of the same software, they are removed from the income statement. Real savings derived from resources being able to do their work faster will appear as net income. The value of everyone getting along better? Priceless!

You can benefit from a PMO regardless of the size of your company. Even though larger companies are likely to benefit in greater ways exponentially, a small but growing company needs to at least foster the spirit of a PMO. It’s easier to put the foundation in place while small rather than go back and implement a PMO later.