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Taking Your PMO to the Next Level: Four Steps to Value Improvement

There is no "one-size-fits-all" PMO. Each is as unique and specific as the corporate culture it supports.

According to the Dictionary of Project Management Terms, 3rd Edition, a project management office is an “organisational entity established to assist project managers throughout the organisation in implementing project management principles, methodologies, tools, and techniques. In most implementations, the project management office is a support function and is not responsible for project execution. Its main objective is implementing effective project management practices throughout the organisation.” (Ward, 349)

Not specifically stated, but rather implied in the definition, is the notion that the PMO is the instrument through which an organisation successfully deploys project management. A PMO, like project management itself, is a means to an end, not the end itself; and, as such it is strategic in its purpose and objective. The “end” is whatever business outcome and results the organisation has identified as being critical to its survival.

Where we have a “high-performing” PMO, the entire organisation and its clients reap the rewards: Projects are delivered on-time, within budget, and meet stakeholder expectations and requirements. Keeping in mind that the primary role of the PMO is to provide the structure and expertise required to improve an organisation’s project success rates, it is useful to step back and review the key functions of the PMO.

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