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The role of the Project Management Office (PMO) in Project Management

Abstract:

            This paper will talk about the Project Management of a company and the Project Management Office that deals with these entire situations while a contract is given to the company and as per rules and regulation a certain deadline is given to the company. Therefore this paper will highlight the roles of Project Management Office and different criterion followed in fulfilling a task. Apart from this the paper throws light on Project Management, the difference between Program Management and PMO and the process of PMO that is to be followed for making a company successful.

Introduction:

            To run a company according to the fulfillment of requirements and to produce better results it is essential that a proper management system should be there to enforce rules and regulation. Management in business and organizations makes it easy to imply new ideas and to follow appropriate criteria in producing the desire output else there is a mishap in every single department or data leading to sour ending of a project or a contract (Hallows, 2002).

            These tasks are given in charge of the Project Manager who deals with them through a suitable project management. Project management is the controlling of management resources, organization of things and planning the project so that he required and desired output should be made as these projects and contracts have a certain deadline which is to be kept in mind while going through such situation. All the objectives when completed are to be presented in front of the higher authority so that they might advice if a mistake is seen, this is because a slight mistake or error in a contract can lead to the customer being dissatisfied with the performance and it casts a great effect on the company’s reputation (Meredith & Mantel 2008).

            The projects or the contracts given to the organization have a certain beginning and a team or group is made to go through the whole research and working although sometimes solo work is also seen in which the employee is given the task and is asked to achieve the goal, to undergo such situation the company provides all the benefits and the funds so that the project can initiate properly and can provide the required result in the interval defined. So the project manager has the authority most of the times to supervise the project. Therefore Project Management Office (PMO) deals with all the requirements and it has the authorization for working on it before the deadline (Meredith & Mantel 2008).

            The Project Management Office is a section or group in an organization or a company which identifies and preserves the process standardization, usually in contrast with the demand of the customer in the given project or contract. It is the main foundation on starting a new contract as they provide the documentation and all the research made so that the initialization can be up to the mark because if the startup is at a rapid and perfect pace the continuity gets better (Horine, 2009).

            According to a research it is said that almost nine percent of the companies meet their required target or achievement in time, the rest ninety percent don’t make it up to the mark and provide the product late while the rest one percent are failures who end up in making no product. Thus it can be seen that the project management of almost ninety one percent of the companies all around the world is lagging behind and they need to enhance their PMO. This is due to certain reasons, as per survey, apart from management failure, absence of machinery, shortage of time and lack of communication are included in the cause. But almost sixty nine percent failures are due to the mismanagement of the PMO. This paper will talk about PMO and the role of Project Management Office in managing a project in a company or an enterprise (Hallows, 2002).

Project Management:

            Project Management is the procedure of accomplishing job goals (agenda, financial plan and presentation) via set of activities that initiate and conclude at definite points in time and manufacture experimental and quality products. Flourishing project management is the art of compiling the tasks, assets and groups required to achieve the business target and objectives within the deadline constraints and within the financial allowance. Projects and Programs are directly related to the planned goals and schemes of the organization assisted (Hobbs & Aubry, 2010).

The procedure every manager pursues during the time of a project is called the Project Management Life Cycle. An established systematic life cycle is compulsory to be implemented frequently to manage projects productively. Experimental based project management should b started during this life cycle so that a clear idea can be drafted, the forms and amount of processes began depends upon the features of the project which include the chances of disappointment and cost of failure therefore leadership quality is seen in these situations (Barkley, 2004).

The Project Management Institute (PMI) supply supervision for project management in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Each project has a certain life, with a commencement and an ending depending upon the result achieved which can be the completion of task or failure. So for undergoing this procedure Project Management Office needs to clarify and go through every minor detail to bring out the best for the company or the organization (Kendrick, 2010).

Project Management Office (PMO):

            As mentioned the Project Management Office is the department of a company which goes through the whole procedure and requirement of the project or the contract and works to fulfill the requirements in the given time interval or the deadline. This department contains or should contain of the finest management officers who have an idea of dealing with difficult situations as his job is said to be quite hectic if an unusual demand arises from the customer, therefore all the qualified employees are to be hired and they should have a great knowledge how to manage a project, communicate and work according to the standard. It is said that the excellence of a project management office is seen when the company is given a task to design a new product, and this phase of new product development confirms whether the workers are worth of the position they have or not, because for the designing of new product every skill is needed by the member of staff (Hobbs & Aubry, 2010).

            As per standardized methods of PMO which include PMBOK and PRINCE2 a company looks forward to apply any one of them as basic application for PMO. While some organizations and governmental agencies have their own private firms to control the PMOs and to manage all the requirements. All over the world are now looking forward to use these methodologies so that a profitable advantage maybe taken over the other companies in different aspects and this criteria has surely brought some drastic organizational upgrading. Professional project managers are being hired or management groups are being shaped so that each company has its own claim to fame if the PMOs succeed (Fleming & Koppelman, 2006).

            Although failure of PMOs is the basic reason a company suffers or doesn’t meet the requirements in the given interval, some companies or individual take PMOs as a short term based decision, that too on the factual basis of financial management  for lowering the cost which most of the times is wrong in these cases, study shows that companies that have the PMOs operating for years climbed up the ladder of success faster and in a more efficient way then the other companies which also brought the decline in cost and goals were achieved within the deadline (Rad & Levin, 2002).

            The PMOs can also participate in other management programs as they have a clear idea and experience in how to deal with different situations and projects or contracts. The time management is also better of the PMOs than any other sector in a company because valuing time is an essential for them, thus any advantageous decision based on a proper strategy can be made by them whether to continue the deal or to cancel out the project (Gido & Clement, 2008).

The Project Management Office can be differentiated in three forms depending upon the prerequisite of the company, this includes venture PMO, departmental or sector based PMO and particular-purpose PMO. According to the PMOSIG (Project Management Office Significant Interest Working Group), which is a Project Management Institute (PMI), PMO in a specific company is like a body function which controls the vital parts and keeps the body working and in shape; therefore PMO is the pathway to the leadership of a company (Rad & Levin, 2002).

            Almost four thousand employees join and get membership of PMOSIG every year in whole world making it one of the largest enterprises to train and provide more knowledge to the members in field of project management to crate better PMOs (Gido & Clement, 2008).

PMO vs. Program Management Office:

A PMO’s centre of attention is on following an extensive range of assignments and programs, while a Program Management Office holds on to one program. Like, a PMO is probably to acquire the responsibility of guiding supplier for all project managers inside the business, where a Program Management Office might provide the training needs for a certain task. There is separate overlap among the Program Management Office and PMOs. They both combine and distribute prominent information (Perry, 2009).

The Role of Project Management Office (PMO) in Project Management:

            The information about the Project Management and the Project Management Office in the paper describes the importance of these departments in a company but to have a better and close detailed look on the responsibilities of the PMO the paper defines most of the key points. The role of PMO in Project Management is very essential, as it can be seen through previous descriptions, so a descriptive analysis of the roles of the Project Management Office in Project Management for any company or organization is described below (Fleming & Koppelman, 2006).

            The initial role of the PMO in a company is to elucidate the position of projects and project management so that the employees may know the importance and the gravity of the situation, it also provides information upon the time in hand and how things are to be dealt with. Then the other important role the PMOs play when a project is assigned or any contact is given to he company is to make a proper agenda and a schedule which is to be followed properly so that all the things can be intact and continue as per planned. A margin set so that any misconduct may overcome and time loss may be avoided (Hobbs & Aubry, 2010).

            After a portfolio is made it is due to the PMOs that a standardized method is adopted which is to be compared or sometimes followed in contrast with the given demands and instruction of the customer. Communication policies and data transfer, providing of tools and machinery, depending upon product that is to be made, and calculations are provided by the members of the PMO. The calculated data provides the whole new look, as now financial aspect is made clear, which is also essential information in process of fulfilling a project requirement or new product development (Letavec, 2006).

            The part of PMO’s role has foundation on the knowledge and the data they provide and this shows the true performance of their department which ultimately casts a huge positive impact on the organizational company if positive or else it can lead to a real set back. However it is seen that no PMO provides false or wrong data as the PMOs existence relies on the prospering of the company, if company loses clients every employee suffers; therefore it has again a vital role in benefiting the corporation, that is why it is said that if a company is going through loss its due to the miscalculation of the PMO (Kendrick, 2010).

            Apart from only providing the information it also helps the other departments which are in charge of developing forms and models and brings ease and facilities, estimation and reports regarding the older contract deals so that any correction can be made after comparing to the previous contract’s result and to overcome that weakness. This helps on the company employees getting united and working together and PMOs do not hide away from the scene after their respective job is done but help others in achievements and management (Hill, 2007).

New comers in the department of PMOs require instructions and training so this too is done by the members of PMO that is, training the immature and bringing hem to a level of maturity by experimental techniques and through project management tools. This helps in the interaction and communication between the seniors and juniors leading to the point where the new comer is ready to make decision on their own. After the trainees are ready to face the real challenges so the grouping is done under the super vision of PMO and proper consultation and mentoring is presented so that if an unusual task is faced by them they should not back down from it but solve it with patience. Each team consists of two or more seniors for better management and instructions and a full trained team of experts is then given the task for fulfillment (Perry, 2009).

This is the part where it can be assured hat the trained people of PMO are going to be providing the company with benefits and are not going to let them down, therefore if the successful approach is made and the organization its the desired result in the interval of time then it can be said that the PMOs provided the company with the future leaders of the organizations as it’s these members who then move ahead and initiate their own organizations and by following the footsteps of their successful seniors they also tend to get positive consequences through proper management and the experience they gained from their previous experiments or the contracts completed while they were in a certain group. So once again the role of PMO is seen in developing the young generation for becoming the future privileged leaders (Letavec, 2006).

As there are some standard methods of following a Project Management so it is also the job of PMO to choose whether to follow a methodology completely or to modify it according to the current usage plus the auditing is done by the members of PMO for the revision and thorough investigation of the contract, if the project is being continued according to he requirement.

Apart from different inspections made by the company authorized personnel, auditing is necessary in company’s management in every department as it shows how clean things are going and whether or not any fraud is being made, as some employees tends to reverse the criteria and they end up being an omen for the company. Thus assistance is supplied as per the standard project management practice (Rad & Levin, 2002).

This is said to be the role of the watch dog that PMO performs by going through every change that is made in the project management and selection of any new order that would later be implied on the criteria being followed it begins with the initiation of the project or the contract till the end after all satisfactory results are produced. These practices make all the decisions clear and fee from doubts that might arrive in anyone’s mind.

The role of PMO is said to be most effective when the output is better than the previous contract and this is because of the fact that PMOs keep going through the previous data so that it might come handy and improve the management quality. Customers expects more from the company after several different projects are fulfilled by them so if no revision of previous mistake would be made the customer would get the same result, although the project would be different, but the result quality would be same. So if the quality is to be improved a full investigation is made into tools, machinery communication processes so that through these means the output can come out be better than the expectation of the customer (Berkun, 2008).

Also a very common observation is the involvement of extra hands in the processes which usually lead to mismanagement and therefore small fights arise within the company’s premises so if such circumstances are seen PMO has the right and an important role in neutralizing the state of affairs by providing negotiations and a proper office for planning and discussing any misconception that has occurred and most of the times solving it. Also reporting of every move to the manager to the owner of the company through out the interval is done by the Project Management Office (Hill, 2007).

The Project Management Office is also in charge of dealing with the sponsors that are being provided through the customer’s behalf and company’s behalf too. It can be understood by the work of a Human Resource Manager who deals with all these moments and tries its level best to bring the decision in the companies favor through supplying of financial or production management. So a central, client’s will related room with his/her staff is provided where they can continue working as their presence is required if any changes in the original order are to be made. The staffs of the client or the client himself are to be made aware of every detail by the PMOs just like PMOs are to be made by the enterprise workers. So this whole meeting requires a separate room which is again the duty of PMOs to provide, as it’s said that if you keep the client comfortable the, favorable would be the outcome (Hill, 2007).

Financial management is one of the key factors involved when a certain contracts are given to the company. A whole plan is made by the PMOs with the help of the financial staff to carry out the search on how much would the cost effectiveness would be there and how can they all work to reduce the cost and minimize the effects as in these cases the company cannot afford any wastage of money as monetary assistance means a lot to the company as well as the PMOs members (Rad & Levin, 2002).

Therefore the other very important role of PMOs is to minimize the consulting expenditure which then helps in the other effective role of PMO described along this paper. The company is provided by the estimation amount that might appear after the calculations are made so that certain amount is to be kept in mind while designing is being carried on, so PMO get another shining batch for its positive role in Project management.

The effective role of PMO mentioned above is the improvement of profit earning. It is said to be one of the most important aspect for a company’s future that a sufficient amount of profit should be made. A company unable to make profit would soon lose all the assets and ultimately bankruptcy would cause the end of the enterprise. This is what no employee of the company wants and PMOs on the other hand are too much cautious about such outcome because every blame would then come on their hands as they are the ones making he whole criteria to be followed and loss means their mismanagement, this results in the owner being frustrated and dismissing the managers of PMO. While in case of profitable outcome the whole scene is reversed and PMOs are given credit on their perfect achievements (Berkun, 2008).

So developing and teaching of new comers or training personnel in the office is one of the roles mentioned in the paper but making project management team does not mean that it is going to be a success but the real art is making a productive project group or team. This is also an achievement by the PMOs that they do, sometimes, make such efficient teams but it is not always like this, however if once a team is successful than the ladder of fame doesn’t bring them down (Wysocki, 2009).

This than improves the confidence of the staff and brings out the best in them, professionalism is said to take over a person through various experiments and experiences which can be good or bad both, however once the confidence is built up than the client or the employee has got no problems in facing the difficult challenges and can do everything with the group members with simplicity (Perry, 2009).

Straightforwardness is also required in this job because if a person cannot pin point the mistake and doesn’t talk just because of some reason, then it is going against the company. Therefore all these moral ethics are described by the PMOs so that the company representative may not get confused and should come up to the expected requirement.

These are the roles of the Project Management Office in Project Management and it can be seen that it really has a vital role in running a company from financial management to the training of new members. This management can either take the company to a high level or any non seriousness may lead to a drastic decline and loss of the company (Wysocki, 2009).

Design:

Following is an idea of PMO:

#
Process
Commencement
Completion
Total Days
1
Collection of info
4th May 2010
6th May 2010
3
2
Planning of Criteria
7th May 2010
8th May 2010
2
3
Selection of tools
9th May 2010
12th May 2010
4
4
Adopting the PMO method
13th May 2010
16th May 2010
4
5
Meeting with the Owner
17th May 2010
17th May 2010
1
6
Fabrication
18th May 2010
28th May 2010
11
7
Final Inspection
29th May 2010
30th May 2010
2
8
Packaging
31st May 2010
2nd June 2010
3
9
Shipment
3rd June 2010
5th June 2010
3

New Findings:

            According to the latest study a qualified PMO will surely perform these core actions, which include helping not only your own organization but if a separate different company shows up and demands for their help. Standards should be followed strictly and if any mismanagement is to be seen a reminding is to be issued to the senior manager. On the other hand the communication between the companies must be practiced in a better way and means of communications should be fast and efficient. They might include internet, wireless networking or calling through the telephone. Rest is same somehow as PMO is given the task to achieve the desired goal in a certain interval of time so this is also one of the rules for PMOs or the core activities (Fleming & Koppelman, 2006).

            The Project Management Office is sometimes referred as cost centre as it is not responsible to generate income for the company directly, so to meet its own requirements it is necessary that it should bring changes in the company, as in to prove its worth so that the satisfactory result may provide them with funds and financial assets. It is also said that this sector of the company acts as a bonding agent, the PMO brings project management standards and finest preparations in the association and combine mutually unlike projects and stakeholders (Berkun, 2008).

When all contracts function by means of alike practices, the on the whole assignment achievement rate boosts up and decrement in project funds is seen. Through its core actions the PMO tends to improve both the efficiency of the company and ad its effect on company’s reputation. Thus proving its worth once and for all gaining the trust of the company.

Conclusion:

            So, it can be seen that the Project Management Office is much more than just an office required in managing a contract given to the company by the client. It supplies assistance for projects like, preparation and monitoring jobs. As a necessary constituent for upcoming managerial achievement, it needs the arrangement of the correct processes, with the proper tools and the proper members. So, all the businesses around the world look forward to the members of their company’s PMOs, so that they might come up with a proper idea that can help them in achieving the goals and producing the desired output.

            A successful company would appreciate the work of the Project Management Office but if the PMO is not good than loss, failure and contract breaking might occur so every planning is made through proper management and this department surely benefits the company a lot and all the members and managers are to be respected for their hard work.

Reference:

Horine, G., (2009), Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Project Management, 2nd edn, Que, USA.

Berkun, S., (2008), Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management, 1st edn, O’Reilly Media, USA.

Kendrick, T., (2010), The Project Management Tool Kit: 100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right, 2nd edn, AMACOM, USA.

Meredith, J. R. & Mantel, S. J., (2008), Project Management: A Managerial Approach, 7th edn, Wiley, USA.

Barkley, B., (2004), Project Risk Management (Project Management), 1st edn, McGraw-Hill Professional, USA.

Gido, J. & Clement, J. P., (2008), Successful Project Management, 4th edn, South-Western College Pub, USA.

Fleming, Q. W. & Koppelman, J. M., (2006), Earned Value Project Management, 3rd edn, Project Management Institute, USA.

Wysocki, R. K., (2009), Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, 5th edn, Wiley, USA.

Perry, M. P., (2009), Business Driven PMO Setup: Practical Insights, Techniques and Case Examples for Ensuring Success, 1st edn, J. Ross Publishing, USA.

Rad, P. F. & Levin, G., (2002), The Advanced Project Management Office: A Comprehensive Look at Function and Implementation, 1st edn, CRC Press, USA.

Hill, G. M., (2007), The Complete Project Management Office Handbook, 2nd edn, Auerbach Publications, USA.

Letavec, J. C., (2006), The Program Management Office: Establishing, Managing and Growing the Value of a PMO, 1st edn, J. Ross Publishing, USA.

Hobbs, B. & Aubry, M., (2010), The Project Management Office (PMO): A Quest for Understanding, 1st edn, Project Management Institute, USA.

Hallows, J., (2002), The Project Management Office Toolkit, 1st edn, AMACOM, USA.

 

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