What is a PMO/P3O?

A Program or Project Management Office (PMO) provides support to programs and projects to enable more efficient and effective delivery. It also provides senior management with project information. Projects and programs have certain common functions they must undertake, and developing and managing these functions centrally is preferable to each project developing them anew. Projects and programs can operate without PMOs but it makes their job more difficult and time consuming.

PMO’s don’t deliver projects – they support those who do.

A P3O refers to a number of program or project support functions (such as PMOs) linked across an organisation. Ideally, one of these functions provides portfolio support to senior execs who make decisions on the overall portfolio.

What are typical PMO/P3O functions?
  • Portfolio management support
  • Progress monitoring, reporting and review
  • Providing planning and estimating standards and tools
  • Supporting capacity planning and resource management
  • Supporting the benefits management process
  • Risk, issue and change management
  • Financial reporting
  • Providing procurement and contact management support;
  • Quality assurance, standards and processes
  • Secretariat functions
  • Lessons learned management.
What are the benefits, and how can we assist you?

The benefits of an effective PMO/P3O include:

For senior management:
  • Consistency of approach to projects means the business spends less time understanding different approaches;
  • Consistency of reporting reduces time taken for management to understand reports on different projects;
  • Improved staff and ideas portability;
  • Shorter learning curves for new project staff;
  • Areas within the business learn from each other;
  • P3O business units can cover for each other making resource management easier;
  • Increased delivery confidence.
For Program and Project Managers
  • Project effort is reduced and output increased;
  • Reduced workload associated with support functions;
  • Greater clarity of approach;
  • Able to focus on core delivery rather than the support functions.

How can we help?

We can assist you by avoiding the common pitfalls we have witnessed with PMO implementations over many years. We believe there are 4 critical success factors for PMO/P3O implementations. These are:

  1. Get reporting working seamlessly and become the single source of project truth. When you achieve this, management will support you.
  2. Remember you are providing a service. Lose sight of this and you will lose your support.
  3. Keep the burden on Project Managers low. They are your source of information – be nice to them.
  4. Focus on the basics. When they are perfect, then you can expand functionality.