Should I Propose a PMO to Leadership?

Author: Shuna Wu

Would I propose a PMO to my company? The answer is Yes!
As a program manager, I have been thinking whether to propose a PMO for my company. After I attended the UCSC Extension of Silicon Valley Fall 2010 PMO course instructed by Rosemary Hossenlopp, this thought became clearer and stronger. So I’m beginning to create a slide desk on:

  • Vision
  • Benefits
  • Best Practices

Let’s start with Vision.

PMO Vision:
Promote best practice standards and methodologies into a project management discipline and enable excellence in project management of the Organization.

PMO Benefits:
Why should my leadership want to invest in a PMO? Look at these statistics below:
• 76% surveyed companies had created a PMO
• The longer the PMO, the higher the project success rates
• Standard practices are implementation
• 65.8% of high performing organizations have enterprise PMOs.
• PMO’s deliver a return in three to six months by providing the visibility needed to cancel, postpone, or scale back unnecessary or less strategic projects.
• PMOs are significantly better at meeting critical success factors, including having effective sponsorship, accountability, competent staff, quality leadership and demonstrated value.

PMO Best Practices:

I’m very motivated by PMO benefits and has been working on a presentation slide deck. 🙂 So let me share some of the best practices to implement the PMO
• Initiating: start the conversation(survey) and setup goals. These should be aligned with the
organization’s overall charter.
• Planing: develop timelines, milestones and so on.
• Executing: execute, execute and execute!!! This is to ensure the proper activities are
undertaken, to ensure quality and to manage changes.
• Controlling and Monitoring: Ensuring the resulting product maps back to the original plan,
and risk from uncontrolled external actions is mitigated.
• Closing: Making sure you have delivered everything expected of the project. Once you close, you need to review the project vis-à-vis the plan and likewise ensure contract closure.

My organization has three divisions, which are developing platforms focusing on different levels: Enterprise, Standard and Micro levels. Each team has a group of program managers. If we can have a
centralized PMO, I believe we will get the benefits listed below:
• Improving in project management competency.
• Developing or enhancing project management skills and knowledge
• Ensuring consistency and uniformity in project delivery.
• Reducing project overruns and increasing delivery speed.
• Increasing customer satisfaction
• Archiving project operational and performance data.
• Providing a centralized point of reference for the project management practice.

I’ll keep you posted on the discussions I have with my organization to suggest these ideas. Exciting!

About the author: Shuna Wu is a student of UCSC Extension at Silicon Valley – PMO Fall 2010 online course. She works in a Silicon Valley as a project professional.

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