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Tools for a Successful Program Management Office (PMO)

by: Sarah Joson

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Outsourcing News |

Program management office (PMO) is often pushed to the sidelines of an operation, even if it is the group or department that sets the standards for an operation. PMO workers are usually assigned to creating reports and updating plans, instead of helping the company reach goals according to industry standards.

Sometimes, some of the tasks supervised by the PMO department go beyond providing standards and methodology functions of a company. These can also include roles related to monitoring and reporting on current projects, and disseminating information to executives regarding the condition of the projects.


How to build an effective program management office

An article by Theodore Isaacs, Senior Consultant - ISG, posted at info.ISG-One.com, shows that IT leaders are now well aware that the key tools to improve the efficiency of IT services for PMO processes are the right people and a proper system so that in the end, companies can have a sustainable and sufficient IT-enabled PMO department. The article also included steps on how to build a PMO that can help a company become more optimized and work efficiently to reach desired goals and maximize value for money in each project.

Assign a focal point. Project managers report to and solicit decisions from the head of PMO. No project will be approved unless a go signal is given by the PMO head. The focal point is also the one who oversees other operating arms of the company, creating communication lines across all projects and programs.
Establish order of command. Having a system that properly allocates roles and goals across projects and programs will lead to proper accomplishment of objectives and, soon after, the company can reap the rewards and benefits. It will act as a framework that can be used as a guide as projects are being worked on.
Make sure that each function is relevant. Each PMO function should have a significant contribution to the company to reduce redundancy and of course, cut costs.

Clearly define goals. To maximize return on investment have sustainable operations, goals should be clearly defined for the PMO. IT leaders should constantly inform the PMO about changes in plans and strategies so that all projects and programs remained aligned.

Manage staff properly. Provide a workable estimate for the number of staff on each project. Service heads should also oversee additional training and assessment of each department and optimization of functions.

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