The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Best Practices To Create PMO Success

Peter Ng

UCSC Extension PMO Course Student

Recently  I came across a statistics about the value of PMO’s given by Dr. Hobbs in his paper on the Multi-Project PMO. Interestingly in the finding, 42% of PMOs are not meeting the expectation within their organizations. Wow, this is a significant percentage!

Your organization might have already invested a great deal of time, effort and resources in establishing a PMO. Why would you want it to fail later?

How can you maintain your PMO in your organization to the long-term success?

Here is a best practice guide for you to ensure PMO success in just 3 areas:
1. Having a stated charter
2. Managing the stakeholders
3. High level of customer satisfaction

Having a stated charter

You need a stated charter to build the scope and objectives of a PMO. What actions can you take in a charter?
1. Report tracking to monitor project performance
2. Develop PM competencies or methodologies as required
3. Align with other projects in other business units
4. Ensure better alignment with your organizational strategy.
5. Provide organizational learning. Do a maturity assessment and lessons learned

Managing the stakeholders

Second, managing your stakeholders to understand if there is any shifting in their expectations.  What can you do?
1. Manage their expectations. Communicate clearly on what can be achived. Define the success metrics. Make a communication plan in the PMO.
2. Regular reporting to show milestones. Use the “Red, Yellow, Green Reporting”.
3. Change Management. Act with resilience. Focus on the project goal. Fight the good fight in the midst of adversity.

High level of customer satisfaction

Third, keep a high level of customer satisfaction. Customer is always right. Deliver what they want is the key to project success. Take some time to:
1. Identify your customers expectations. Understand their key “must-have” requirements from your customers is the key.
2. Carry out a quality planning process. Gather the requirements from your customers. Know their needs.
3. Cultivate strong relationship between customers, stakeholders and your PMO team. Ensure your customer needs and expectations are under constant focus and review.


Consider these three actions to increase the chances of your PMO exceeding the needs the of organization.

1. Having a stated charter
2. Managing the stakeholders
3. High level of customer satisfaction


About the Author

Rosemary trains IT project teams on delivering project success by improving business analysis and project management practices. She is founder of Project Management Perspectives LLC consulting and training in both the commercial and government sectors. She led many global software and hardware projects; created PMO's, and conducted project assessments. Rosemary speaks at conferences on the topics on Planning for Project Success and is a co-author of Unearthing Business Requirements, Elicitation Tools and Techniques and Organizational Project Management (June 2010) Rosemary received her B.S. from Oregon State University and M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and implemented the Tools and Techniques initiative of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
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