As companies develop and grow, they are looking for ways to improve coordination of all their projects and resources. This is where a project management office can assist. What exactly are its roles and responsibilities in a company? How can they improve project management processes? Read further to find the answers.
What Is a Project Management Office?
Project management office is a department whose purpose is to set up and maintain standards for project management processes as well as to approve relevant methodologies, tools, and techniques. It coordinates all projects running in an organization and ensures productive work of their shared resources.
PMOs have an increasing popularity among companies these days, especially those that implement multiple projects simultaneously. For maximum efficient work, PMOs combine their efforts with the functionality of project and resource management software. We’ll examine its capabilities later in the article.
There are different types of PMOs. The Project Management Body of Knowledge suggests the following classification that is based on the degree of PMO’s involvement in the project management process:
- the supportive PMO with an advisory role in the project management process (conducting training, providing templates and other materials);
- the controlling PMO that provides the above-mentioned support and requires compliance of project management activities with established standards;
- the directive PMO which implies direct management of a company’s projects by the PMO’s members.
Despite the existing classifications, PMOs are different in every company depending on its size, needs, business objectives, industry, and other factors.
What Are the Main Responsibilities of a PMO?
Responsibilities of a project management office greatly depend on its type and role in a company. However, the most common of them are as follows.
- Setting up the project management methodology, related standards and best practices as well as necessary documentation to be used by all project participants.
- Supporting project managers in different ways; making sure that they have enough skills and expertise to work on projects efficiently.
- Managing shared resources of a project environment: planning their capacity, allocating them, ensuring their efficient utilization and balanced workload.
- Facilitating teams’ fruitful collaboration and coordination of their work on projects.
- Ensuring that all projects running in a company are aligned with its business objectives and setting priorities between initiatives accordingly.
To sum up, a PMO’s responsibilities come down to increasing the efficiency of the project management process and ensuring successful delivery of a company’s initiatives.
Why Establish a PMO In a Company?
A company can benefit from establishing a project management office in the following ways.
- A PMO contributes to improved quality of project outcomes.
More efficient management of project resources, fruitful collaboration between team members, and more streamlined work on projects significantly increases the chances for their successful delivery.
- Efficient work of a PMO facilitates project cost optimization.
Efficient utilization of the available resources and analyzing the feasibility of intaking new projects minimize the possibilities for budget overrun and contribute to more rational utilization of project financial resources.
- A PMO ensures that a company intakes the right projects.
PMO members analyze upcoming projects in terms of their feasibility and alignment with business objectives.
- The probability for negative risks becomes lower.
PMO members regularly monitor the state of all projects running in a company, which allows them to detect any risk-bearing situations timely and come up with the appropriate risk responses.
- Centralizing all project-related information.
Standardization of all project management processes provides all project participants with a single source of truth, which increases the quality of work on initiatives.
Why Does a PMO Need a Resource Management Solution?
PMOs usually deal with multi-project organizations, where efficient utilization of shared resources becomes the basis for successful delivery of all projects in the environment. This is where a resource management solution can provide two benefits at once: optimize the work of project resources and contribute to efficient delivery of projects.
Epicflow is an AI-driven resource management solution designed for work in a multi-project environment. Thanks to the right approach to managing multiple projects and their shared resources, it gets the best of two worlds. On the one hand, it increases the efficiency of the workflow and the quality of the final outcome; on the other hand, it provides a great assistance to a PMO by simplifying their work.
What Epicflow’s functions will be useful for a value-driven PMO?
- Resource allocation
It keeps the data on each resource’s skills, capacity, and availability and uses it to suggest best possible resource allocation options.
- Detecting improper workload
The solution is capable of indicating unbalanced workload, namely overload and idleness which are both productivity enemies. A project/resource manager can use this information and adjust people’s workload to an optimum level.
- Forecasting resource bottlenecks
It can detect future resource bottlenecks before they turn into real problems and hamper the work of the whole project environment.
Setting correct priorities across hundreds of tasks in a multi-project environment is the basis for timely delivery of all initiatives in the environment. Prioritization allows team members to focus on assignments that must be completed first and foremost. Thanks to automatic prioritization and the right approach to task estimates, each employee focuses on assignments that matter most for the moment.
- Centralizing all project-related data.
It keeps all necessary project data and therefore provides a single source of truth for all project participants (team members, a project/resource manager, project stakeholders).
- Providing visibility as to the state of all projects in the pipeline.
Assistance in decision-making
It can assist in making decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Its What-if Analysis feature provides an opportunity to predict various outcomes based on the changes made to the current project environment and come up with the most reasonable solution.
Automatization of reporting
One of the responsibilities of a PMO is to create and analyze reports on the state of projects in the pipeline. PMO members can automatically generate reports that provide relevant data within a defined time period. So, they won’t have to spend time on gathering necessary data and compiling these documents manually.