An organization considering integrating a project management office ( a PMO ) has, more than like, entertained the idea that the project management office may improve the effectiveness of their projects or the organization as a whole. Someone on the leadership team has concluded that a PMO is the way to move the organization forward. But what does it take to manage the PMO?
The complexities of the PMO are ultimately going to be determined by how much weight the organization is going to place on the PMO. An organization looking to orchestrate the business activities through the PMO may place more weight on the authority of the manager then one that simply wants to bundle similar projects.
The PMO Decision
The decision to implement the PMO is not an easy decision. Many times line managers will feel authority is infringed upon by management of the project management office. Employees will be torn to report to the project manager or the department manager. This dynamic can become one of the largest considerations affecting the decision to implement or not. After all gaining the PMO and loosing employee moral can kill the company. Have high moral but no real control over projects execution can also negatively affect the business.
Ultimately, the leader chosen to run the PMO must be keenly aware of this dynamic and be able to meet the requirements of all stakeholders within range of authority given to the office. A leader that exceeds the boundary will impede management authority outside of his/her authority. Relinquishing authority that is within the range of authority compromises the purpose of the PMO in the first place.
What does it take?
So what does it take to manage the PMO? First and foremost, must be a clear understanding by the leadership of an organization about what exactly the PMO is to do. Then the leadership of the project management office is selected who understands the balance his actions will have on the office and the organization on the whole.
Because the PMO manager will be both unifying and disruptive, the organization must have a clearly understood mediation process. After all somebody must make the final decision. But Who?