The Project Office and the Project Management Office

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''Project management office'' is a term that has come into use in the past few years. It should be noted that, in common usage, the term ''project office'' is different from ''project management office.'' The project office is the place where the project team is managed and where the project manager and the project team reside. As companies become more project oriented, quite a lot of inefficiency can result. This is because project managers want to have direct control of all the work that goes on inside their project. But it is not practical for all project teams to have complete independence.

For example, although they might find it desirable, each project team cannot have their own high-speed copy machine, accounting group, payroll department, purchasing department, and so on. Common services that are required for several projects can be organized into a project management office (PMO). One PMO can support the needs of several project teams. It can be much more efficient to have one large copy machine serving the needs of several project teams. Other resources are appropriately shared through the PMO. The PMO can also be very helpful in helping to coordinate project policies, procedures, reports, and documentation. In addition the PMO can be useful in coordinating quality efforts, communications, and mentoring.

The danger of having the responsibilities of the project team handled by the PMO is that the authority of the project team may be eroded. For example, it might be economically practical to have one copy machine shared by several project teams and to locate the copy machine in the PMO. What happens if we decide that it makes sense to have the PMO produce the project schedule or some of the other reports that are generated regularly by all projects? What if those using the project schedule will now come to the scheduler in the PMO to make project schedule changes? Before we know it the PMO may end up giving advice and literally running aspects of the project that should be done by the project team. This is leading us away from the idea of project management and back to the functional organization.

What project management brings to the table is the ability to coordinate all ofthese activities and at the same time help to motivate people to work on them. By bringing people together into a project team, the work of the project is coordinated through a project manager who is in close contact with the client and stakeholders. This allows the project manager to focus the project team on the completion of the project.

The project manager and his or her team are able to focus on the goals of the project with relatively little distraction. To the project team, this project is the main thing in their working life for the time being. People with the proper skills can be brought into close proximity to each other, and by having this close proximity they develop a synergy of mutual assistance and complete the work with remarkable results.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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