Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.
A First Look
Meet Sonny. Sonny works for Teaching and Tutoring, a company that offers tutoring services for students. While tutoring has always been the main function of the company, it has recently decided to venture into educational projects. Some of the projects include clinics for teachers to aid them in better helping students in need. Other projects are more fun in nature, like field trip programs that take children on adventures in the community.
While the new projects certainly add an exciting dynamic to the company, Sonny has begun to notice that the once extremely organized company is starting to unravel. You see, Teaching and Tutoring seems to be overwhelmed with the extra program duties. It was at this time that Sonny suggested implementing a project management office to help oversee the new projects.
So, you might be wondering: What is meant by the term project management office? Well, a project management office (PMO) is a group established within a company that clarifies and maintains project management standards. The group, which can be a whole department, is responsible for delegating, organizing, and overseeing a variety of projects.
PMOs are sometimes created for a special, one-time project and disassemble afterward, while other times they may be created to offer long-term administrative assistance for project managers, which allows these employees to devote more time to more important tasks and responsibilities. In other words, a PMO is established to help provide any help, guidance, or administrative assistance so that projects can be better managed and implemented within a company.
For example, Teaching and Tutoring could establish a project management office to help project managers work more efficiently and focus their attention on higher-concept tasks. The PMO might help process paperwork involved in projects, like consent forms from the students participating in field trips or other activities. The PMO can also help guide project managers from the start of a program to the end, ensuring that it runs smoothly so that Teaching and Tutoring can stay organized and efficient.
So, what does a PMO do precisely, and how does it operate? The responsibilities of a PMO can vary greatly by company, and they can also vary according to the type of project management office. Let's review the responsibilities of PMOs according to some different types, including the project repository, departmental, project specific, center of excellence, and enterprise type of PMO. Keep in mind that some PMOs may fulfill just one or many of these roles.
- Project repository project management office: Offers information on the standards and methodology of how projects should be carried out.
- For example, it may explain to project managers from Teaching and Tutoring the steps that need to be taken before any project involving minors can begin, such as getting consent forms signed, ensuring vaccinations are up to date, and speaking with parents.
- Departmental project management office: Assigned to a specific department or unit within a company.
- Perhaps Teaching and Tutoring might develop a PMO for just its student outreach department, which administers student outreach programs.
- Project-specific PMO: Designed for a specific project.
- For example, if Teaching and Tutoring offers a yearly field trip to see how businesses in the educational field function, it may designate a PMO that oversees just that project.
- Center of excellence project management office: Offers training and tools for project managers.
- So, if Teaching and Tutoring hires a new employee to oversee community service projects, a PMO might train that employee on the company standards and methods that the new project manager should follow.
- Enterprise project management office: Generally permanent and entails a broader, more overarching governance. This type of PMO understands resource allocation, verifies time and budgets, and identifies risks prior to the start of the project.
- So, if Teaching and Tutoring wanted to implement a permanent enterprise PMO, that project management office might be responsible for overseeing all projects ranging from community service to youth activities. It would verify how much each project will cost, what resources will be needed, and the time frame for the project. It would also identify any risks that may be involved with the project.
A project management office (PMO) is a group that is created to help project managers complete their jobs more efficiently. There are a variety of different types of project management offices, but those covered in this lesson include:
- Project repository
- Center of excellence
- Enterprise PMOs
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