Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Responsibilities of a Project Management Office

By Alvin Soltis

PMO responsibility can vary greatly depending on who you ask. In my career I have had the opportunity to setup a few Project Offices. The first we won’t talk about, the second and third turned out very well. I am sharing some of the key routines I used below:

Manage Proposed Projects Pipeline
  • Score proposals. This is a quick way to gauge the cost, benefit, and risk of the project so you know how much effort should go into it and who to involve. You also score this against other competing proposals who take from the same budget pool.
  • Vet that project Business Case is sound. The bigger the project the more work in this area.
  • Ensure that the project aligns to the organizations vision and strategy. It could be a great idea, but does it advance the greater goals of the organization?
Manage Project Portfolio
  • Project Dashboard. This will list key metrics and is usually color coded so leadership can quickly see where to focus attention.
  • Exception Reporting. This regularly goes out to all the project managers and points out anything that is missing from the project. I recommend you score the projects so ones missing a lot go red. It works wonders in getting projects in tip top shape.
  • Portfolio reviews. This is done with an operating or governance committee who has the authority to move the projects through each phase and make major changes to the cost, scope, and time of the project.
  • Ensure projects are following the process. This is a combination of active monitoring and reviews done at the end of each phase.