What is a Project Management Office (PMO)?



Suppose you have just completed a huge data center setup project. Fortunately (or unfortunately) your next project is also a similar data center setup. The first thing you would do is to make sure that the lessons learnt from previous project are used because, well, nobody wants to face the same problem twice.

Now imagine how many data center setup projects the organization you work for has completed? Wouldn't it be awesome to use the lessons from all those previous projects? How about any specific templates that others may have created? Wouldn't all this guidance be sweet?

Enter Project Management Office (PMO). And there are three types of these,

1. Supportive - This type of PMO will basically provide templates that you and your team can use to manage the project. They can also provide organization specific guidelines on communicating project status, schedule etc

2. Controlling - In addition to what supportive PMOs do, that is, providing templates and guidelines, controlling PMOs can also audit your project to ensure you are following the processes prescribed by them

3. Directive - Directive PMOs actually assign Project Managers to projects. PMs might be reporting directly to the PMO and thus this kind of PMO will have super-control on the way projects are managed

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