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Top 5 Tips For Building a PMO

  1. Know why you want a PMO

Before setting up a PMO you need to take time as a business to agree on the reasons and set clear objectives. For example, you might be looking to define a single source of truth for reporting, or you might be looking to create a repeatable process for best practice change delivery, or you might want a PMO to deliver projects on time, on budget, and to deliver the benefits that link back to your business strategy. Whatever the reason, by having a clear understanding of why you want a PMO and what the end goals are, you can plan how to get there, and how you will measure success.


  1. Focus at the highest level

How you deliver and govern change needs to be relatable to everybody within your organisation. If you have multiple methodologies, define simple controls and processes according to how you need to communicate at the highest level. This will ensure that you know how every initiative, no matter how small, contributes to the success of your business.


  1. Take people on the journey

Any successful change initiative is only as powerful as the people involved in making it happen. That’s why it’s important to have a clear breakdown of who those stakeholders are, what you’re expecting them to do, and what they might be expecting from you. Moreover, you must ensure that everybody has a shared understanding of what you are trying to achieve and how everyone will work together to get there.


  1. It’s all about the data

Having a clear data structure in place from the get-go helps you succeed because it means that you can put the right information in front of the right people at the right time. Knowing where that data lives and having a single source of truth for each specific data set makes it easier to improve and build automation and visibility if you decide to implement any tooling in place to support management.


  1. Learn and grow

It’s important when you are planning to implement a PMO function that you build in time to stop and take stock. Have a lessons learned session, or a retrospective, so that you can look back and understand whether you are still on track and whether you need to adapt or tweak things in order to deliver the value. Ask yourself:


  • Is this still what we are looking for?
  • Has it grown? Has it changed?
  • Does it need to go off in another direction?


As you develop your understanding of the processes that you currently or plan to follow, or the shape of the portfolio itself, things may change – so it’s important to stop and see whether you need to adapt in order to still deliver a value-driven PMO.


What does good look like?


However you define your PMO, the following things should materialise once you get it right:


  • You have clear, repeatable, defined, and measured processes in place
  • Everybody involved or impacted understands the role that they play in delivery and decision-making of change
  • You understand the make-up of your portfolio and how each initiative links back your organisational strategy
  • You have actionable insights to ensure that any blockers, issues, risks, or dependencies can be proactively managed
  • You can provide evidence of the process working.


Creating and implementing a PMO is not a one-off exercise. As your organisation evolves, so too should your PMO to remain relevant and continue adding value. Keeping an eye on and measuring your portfolio maturity allows you to focus energy where it is needed at any given time.


This blog post forms part of our Complete Guide to Setting up a PMO.


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