PMO means Program Management Office but can also stand for Program Management Officer. In larger organizations or large projects and programs, the PMO is responsible for streamlining and developing the management of several projects. A Program Management Office documents the projects and best practices. The Program Manager reports to the management team and stakeholders, prioritizes projects and ensure that these are in line with the set business strategy. Smaller companies do mostly not have a PMO, but if the business has many cross-functional projects running at the same time, a Program Management Office should be a priority.
A Program Management Office can be an internal or external team that defines and ensures standard processes and who is responsible for the projects continues according to a set time plan and within budget. The PMO is often responsible for selecting and prioritizing which projects are to be run when and how, as well as defining the roles and areas of responsibility required to meet the time plan and budget. The projects must benefit the business’s overall goals, which means that the PMO need to create policies, processes, and workflows.
Being a Program Manager Officer is a Profession of its own – A Senior Leader with the ability to run complex multidisciplinary initiatives across the organization
Although the roles are functionally similar, a Program Manager differs from a Project Manager in that a Project Manager runs a specific project from start to finish and a Program Manager works at the executive level and leads a team of Project Managers. The Project Manager is responsible for defining project goals, data collection, resource planning and costs and budget for the own project. The Program Manager is responsible for all projects and for the implementation. The Program Office itself usually consists of a multidisciplinary team with, for example, IT, finance, risk management and HR. These work together to ensure that all projects are delivered with the highest quality and according to set goals.
”In addition to all the work done in Solna, more than 100 minor changes were made in Huddinge, including the construction of a new maternity unit and a large project with a completely new building for surgery, and intensive care will be commissioned in 2020. My assignment was to help the management to coordinate the work of a new business model and new hospital buildings at the highest level.”
When the project portfolio becomes larger, the risk of delays increases – the PMO office becomes decisive
A Project Management Office is a good idea when the number of projects and the risk of failure rises as the right resources and skills are lacking, and competing priorities arise. The team in a PMO understands how each individual project fits into the company’s strategy and supports in ensuring that the right people are in place to reduce the risks of not reaching set goals.
You may need a Program Management Office if:
- Several projects are running simultaneously and must be coordinated
- One or many of the projects tend to be delayed or exceed the set budget
- Projects are critical for achieving business goals
- Your stakeholders do not have insight into the progress of the projects
- Standardized processes for how projects are driven efficiently are lacking
- There is no clear follow-up process of the project portfolio
- The right leadership skills and experience of a PMO are lacking in the organization
”Some things that are consistent from assignment to assignment, are to understand where you are going – the direction, why you do what you do, and understand what kind of competence that will be required.”
A PMO office can quickly get a holistic view of the entire project portfolio
A PMO provides long-term and sustainable results. The function drives and secures processes and structures across the organization and ensures that best practice is used and keeps track of status and direction – all in one place. A PMO ensures that projects and programs are successful.
A Program Management Office:
- Delivers projects according to schedule and budget
- Increases productivity
- Ensures that projects follow the goals of the business
- Reduces the risk of failed projects
A well-functioning PMO office is increasingly important during periods of change
Program Management Offices can contribute during periods of change in the following ways:
- Define, prioritize and implement the needed projects
- Ensure that the projects benefit the business’s values and goals
- Documentation and ongoing follow-up show the projects’ status, success and possible risks
- Ensure that the right skills are available in the various teams
Read more about our interim Project Managers and Program Managers here. (https://nordicinterim.com/sv/interimschefer/interim-projektledare-och-programchef/)
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