So, you have done a needs assessment and found that your organization could really benefit from the creation of a formal project management office (PMO) . Now you need to start planning. Where do you begin?
You have landed in the right place! This is the second article in our five-part series on setting up a PMO. The first article served as an introduction to the concept of a PMO, discussing the benefits of creating one, and how to tell whether your organization really needs one.
Now, it's time to explore the 'project plan' for setting up your own PMO.
We recommend breaking the project down into two main phases. The first is scoping and planning, and the second is the implementation.
Phase A : Scoping and planning (Months 1 -3)
We strongly recommend that you resist the urge (or the pressure) to rush into setting up your PMO. First, you should work to identify a PMO Sponsor who will support your proposal and ensure that you have an ear at C-level. After that, you need to bring in your PMO leaders. Start with your PMO Director. Create a clear job description, and make sure any KPIs align to your organization's goals, and the type of PMO it needs.
Once the PMO Director is in place, they can begin to build their team, and shape a PMO charter that documents the PMO's team structure, purpose, goals, scope, maturity, services offered, processes supported, metrics, governance, timelines and milestones.
Phase B: Managing and learning (Months 4 - 12)
Once your team is ready, and their jobs are clearly defined, you can move on to purchasing a project portfolio management solution.
We recommend that you investigate your options (including Viewpath) carefully and select the solution that will best meet your requirements without overwhelming non-project managers.
You can now populate your portfolio by capturing the following information for each project:
- Project Number (if present)
- Project Name
- Project Description
- Business Goal/Strategy Alignment
- Program Alignment
- Organizational Alignment
- Project Type
- Project Manager
- Project Sponsor/Owner
- Requestor and Internal Priority
- Start Date
- Estimated End Date
- Actual End Date
- Percent Complete to date
- Project Risk
- Other key information
Once your entire portfolio has been added, you can begin to score and prioritize all proposed and active projects, ensuring that they all align to your organization's goals.
Phase C: Nurturing your PMO (12 months and beyond)
Now you are ready to work towards your desired PMO maturity by testing, documenting and refining methodologies, standards, gates, reviews, templates, tools, and reports.
Create and update job descriptions and career development paths, and be sure to train all project team members in the process, the collaborative workspace, the methodologies, and the templates, and encourage the PMO Director to act as a coach and mentor to the team.
It's also a good idea to build a project library. You can use your project portfolio management solution to consolidate project documents, artefacts, and best practices into a central knowledge base.
And finally, as your project management process matures, collect and distribute customer satisfaction and project benefit information to ensure continual improvement of your PMO's capabilities and value.