Project Management Office: Definition and Functions

For years, business units in profit-oriented companies have struggled to deliver multiple projects on time and within budget. Today a project management office (PMO) is likely the right solution that helps those companies to get closer to successful completion of their projects. The challenge of managing multiple projects by one or several business units can be resolved if the companies recognize and use project management office best practices. Project management offices are the way to boost project efficiency, mitigate risks, and improve project delivery in terms of time and budget.

What is a project management office? It is an organizational unit (usually a department, or a group of departments) that determines, controls, and maintains the standards and processes related to project management within a company. The project office idea consist in allowing managing multiple projects from a single, centralized location by establishing the structure required to standardize project management practices, maintain project portfolio management, and set up methodologies for repeatable workflows and processes.

The project management office mission statement can be describes as follows: a PMO is to be developed to enable a company to complete more projects on time and under budget with fewer resources. Although PMOs are no panacea for project challenges, the PMO mission statement allow us to deduce that project office implementation can significantly increase the probability of the project success in terms of reduced cost and minimized risks.