Chapter 3. Project Initiation

3.4 Project Management Office (PMO)

A project management office (PMO) is an organizational structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to the direct management of one or more projects.[1]

Many large and even medium-sized organizations have created a department to oversee and support projects throughout the organization. This is an attempt to reduce the high number of failed projects. These offices are usually called PMO. The PMO may be the home of all the project managers in an organization, or it may simply be a resource for all project managers, who report to their line areas. PMBOK Guide 6th Edition categorizes PMOs as supportive, controlling, and directive. Supportive PMOs provide a consultative role while controlling PMOs provide support and require compliance through various means. Directive PMOs have full-time project managers who participate in the projects and manage directly by taking full control of the projects.

In general, PMOs help ensure that projects are aligned with organizational objectives, provide templates and procedures for use by project managers, provide training and mentorship, provide facilitation, stay abreast of the latest trends in project management, and serve as a repository for project reports and lessons learned.

  1. Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide) (6th ed.). Project Management Institute.


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Project Management by Abdullah Oguz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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