Working with Your PMO

Recall that a PMO is a schmancy club where all the project managers get together for cigars and martinis. Not really—I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. The PMO coordinates the activities of all the project managers. Its primary goal is to create a uniform approach on how projects operate within the organization. PMOs can exist in any structure, but are most common in matrix structures and in projectized environments.

Functional

Weak Matrix

Balanced Matrix

Strong Matrix

Manager's

Authority

Little or none

Limited

Low to moderate

High

High to total

Resource Availability

Little or none

Limited

Low to moderate

High

High to total

Budget Control

Functional manager

Functional manager

Mixed

Project manager

Project manager

Project

Manager's Role

Part-time

Part-time

Full-time

Full-time

Full-time

Project Manager's Administrative Staff

Part-time

Part-time

Part-time

Full-time

Full-time

Table 2-1 Organizational Structures and Their Influence on Project Managers

Table 2-1 Organizational Structures and Their Influence on Project Managers

The role of the PMO is typically to support the project management in the form of templates, project management software, training, leadership, and even granting authority for the project's existence. Often, the PMO provides the administrative support a project manager can expect in a projectized environment.

Here's the big caveat with PMOs: Project team members in a projectized environment are traditionally on one project at a time. A PMO, however, may elect to share project team members between projects if it best serves the organization. So basically, there's no hard and fast rule for the assignment of project team members to an individual project if they are reporting to the PMO rather than directly to the project manager. For your CAPM or PMP exam, keep this in mind: The project managers report to the PMO, and the PMO may exercise its authority over the project managers' control of the project team.

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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