An organization setting up or developing a project management office (PMO) must necessarily consider a range of dimensions and responsibilities such as those discussed in this chapter. In many cases, organizations unsystematically grapple with the design process. This chapter proposes that a group setting up a PMO can shortcut the process of designing a PMO, that will match the requirements and priorities of their organizations, by systematically evaluating the dimensions listed herein and adopting the design options that best meet their needs.

As the move to "manage by projects" becomes more popular in organizations, there is also a move to set up PMOs to support project management. The role of these PMOs is diverse and varied, but commonly includes setting standards and methodologies for project management. Often, this role is expanded to include aspects of project human resource management and sometimes to include responsibility for the execution of projects.

Confronted with the task of setting up a project office, the responsible executive or group must define the roles and responsibilities of the office. Some authors have identified several types of project office design such as the PMO as repository of project management knowledge, or the project office as a functional group responsible for managing projects. However, these models oversimplify the variety of designs that are possible. This chapter contends that there is an almost limitless variety of possible designs.

A framework is presented for designing a project office that is appropriate to the needs of an organization. A number of key dimensions and responsibilities that should be considered are identified. These have been subdivided into: organizational factors; human resource responsibilities; responsibilities for setting project management standards; project execution responsibilities; and strategic responsibilities. These dimensions and responsibilities are discussed in terms of the choices that are available, and the reasons for adopting a particular design. This chapter takes the position that there is no one ideal design for a PMO and that the design of a PMO within an organization should (and will) evolve over time as the organizational requirements and priorities change and the organization's project maturity and competencies change.

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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