A Project Management Office (PMO) is a group or department within a business, agency or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization. The primary goal of a PMO is to achieve benefits from standardizing and following project management policies, processes and methods.
A PMO generally bases its project management principles, practices and processes on some kind of industry standard methodology such as PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) or PRINCE2 (Project in Controlled Environments). Such approaches are consistent with the requirements related to ISO9000 and to government regulatory requirements such as the US Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) program.
Over time, a PMO generally will become the source for guidance, documentation, and metrics related to the practices involved in managing and implementing projects within the organization. A PMO may also get involved in project-related tasks and follow up on project activities through completion. The office may report on project activities, problems and requirements to executive management as a strategic tool in keeping implementers and decision makers moving toward consistent, business- or mission-focused goals and objectives. How a project management office (PMO) is designed and staffed for maximum effectiveness depends on a variety of organizational factors, including targeted goals, traditional strengths and cultural imperatives. There are three basic organizational styles for a project management office.
1. The project repository: This model occurs most often in organizations that empower distributed, business-centric project ownership, or enterprises with weak central governance. The project office simply serves as a source of information on project methodology and standards. Project managers continue to report to, and are funded by, their respective business areas.
2. The project coach model: This model assumes...