Implementation of projects becomes a challenge in most companies especially if not well planned and hence the need of adopting project management office (PMO). The PMO department is concerned with the processes relating to project management within a company, playing a huge role in defining and maintaining the standards of the particular process.
For a PMO implementation to be successful, it should follow the correct set process, possess the right tools and resources and have experienced human resource behind working on it. With the challenges facing the personal computer challenges, AtekPC Company needs to initiate and implement projects to upgrade its information technology sector to deal with the challenges.
The main reason for the need of PMO in AtekPC was to provide a standardized platform to manage the projects and to plan the processes of the initiatives. The main reason of resulting to PMO was due to the fact that the previous projects the Company has implemented did not have lasting results in formalization of practices. The purpose and mission of PMO can vary widely depending on the organization’s structure, project success and experience, available staff and the overall support of project management.
The main purpose and mission of PMO include the following (Hill, 2007);
Allocate funding for the project after its review and approval.
Come up with developed standard processes and tools for the project.
Establish the favorable practice methodology to apply in the project.
Develop and enhance similar language and expectations.
Employ project staff to work on the projects and manage them centrally.
To provide training facilities for the staff to increase the management skills required to undertake the project at hand.
Manage the project’s priorities and governing structure.
According to Rad and Ginger (2002), launching a PMO just like any other project should be approached cautiously with a set plan to avoid failure. The main challenge faced when implementing PMO is the ability to achieve the main goal of delivering projects on time, on a fixed budget and within the set time line. This is mainly a problem if other projects which have been set up have failed to last as expected.
Another challenge likely to be faced during implementation is the cultural difference in the company. Being an organization which is not been PM-based, it will be difficult to bring in a new project easily. This means that the introduction of Project Management Office will most likely face opposition due to cultural differences.
Lack of knowledge of how to operate the Project Management Office software may pose as a challenge too in addition to the cultural challenge. This is especially if there are many projects at hand that need to be handled using PMO and the staff is not well equipped with the necessary tools and experience during the implementation.
The other challenge is the ability to acquire an insight of the project going on in the company. The other challenge is the failure to support methodology needed to implement the PMO especially due to lack of necessary requirements. Financial management may pose a challenge when launching PMO and lack of effective tools necessary. Communication breakdown can also pose as a challenge during the implementation stage.
Setting up PMO as earlier said is no easy task and mechanisms should be put in place to ensure its success. AtekPC need to adopt some of the mechanisms necessary during the implementation process.
One important mechanism is for the company to establish the scope and role of PMO (Hallows, 2002). A PMO plays different roles in different organizations. It is therefore important to hold consultations with key stakeholders of the organization to establish how and where PMO will be adopted into the organization.
The other mechanism is reviewing any existing projects and ability levels to spot needs. This is necessary as one of the incentives for launching PMO is determined by the history of projects which have totally failed or are under-performing. By reviewing the projects, the company will be sure to fill in the gaps by identifying the necessary skills and abilities required to be addressed through the PMO.
The other important mechanism is to plan the PMO implementation according to wants. It is necessary for the company to first establish the mission and purpose that PMO will play in the company before implementing it. Once the role has been identified, a PMO implementation plan can then be set up.
The other mechanism is setting up established procedures and processes. This is a mechanism that requires documentation of certain issues depending on the range of the PMO.
Documentation needed may include project approval papers, recruitment and funding management documentations. Documentation need to be properly drafted within the required scope and timeline to avoid unnecessary mistakes during implementation (Parrinder, 2001).
PMO review is another mechanism that should be adopted. It is important to review the PMO constantly as per the company changes over time. This requires effective communication with the executive to be maintained in order to be aware of the current affairs of the company that are relevant to projects at hand.
Our project paper will then determine how much PMO support is enough PMO support and further, how much PM is enough in an organization. Statistics indicate that over 85% of all planned projects in a company fail to succeed due to many factors such as failure to meet deadlines, budget constraint and in most cases lack of effective program management (Flannes and Levin, 2005).
The staff behind these projects may not entirely to be blamed but the management support put in place to ensure project success. PMO support ensures that the projects are in place to back the business projects.
However, for the PMO support to be enough, there are key issues that need to be considered for effective PMO support. One of the key issues is the importance of Project Management Body of Knowledge certification that breaks down the project into different processes.
The combination of Project Management Body of Knowledge and Project Management Office support creates a strong and effective project management plans. The other important key issue is to cultivate a team environment when hiring PMO support. This ensures that the players in the project are put on the same team and they are able to understand their roles and responsibilities in the project.
Companies which have underway projects should adopt the project management office to ensure successful completion of projects. PMO ensures efficiency on time management, make sure that the company works on the set budget and that the staff working on the projects receive experience through trainings.
Flannes, S. and Levin, G. (2005). Essential People Skills for Project Managers. Michigan: International Journal of Project Management.
Hallows, J. (2002). The Project Management Office Toolkit. USA: AMACOM Div American Management Assn.
Hill, G. (2007). The Complete Project Management Office Handbook. USA: Auerbach Publications.
Parrinder, M. (2001). The Virtual Project Management Office. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group
Rad, P. and Ginger, L. (2002). The Advanced Project Management Office: a comprehensive look at function and implementation. New York: St. Lucie Press.