The Project Management Office as an Organizational Strategy

Abstract

It is clear that the demand for technological services in the coming years will outpace any organization's resources and ability to provide them. Efforts to build static organizational structures will not be effective, given the sheer rate of change in our institutions. Measures of success will depend on cross-functional teams, who form to solve a problem, disband, and reform again to solve the next problem. The establishment of a Project Management Office (PMO) coupled with the use of project management tenets is one strategy to control the onslaught of demand for new initiatives. While functional managers focus on the health of the organization, relationship management, maintenance, and long-term resource issues, the Project Management Office can be deployed to systematically manage the cycle of cross-functional teams who are brought together on a temporary basis to deliver technical projects on-time and within budget. This paper discusses: 1) the establishment of the Project Management Office, 2) the advantages of the PMO in an environment where accountability, ownership, functional boundaries, and risk are difficult to establish, 3) organizational models of the PMO, 4) the role of the PMO in projects, 5) the relationship of the PMO to functional managers.

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