Implementing a Project Management Office (PMO) in your organization can dramatically improve the efficiency of your project management process. As a centralized body, a PMO works to resolve any issues that come about during your project management
For this reason, it’s important that you follow the appropriate steps in implementing a PMO. Additionally, you’ll want to update and implement a new project management process to complement your new PMO. In this way, you can streamline your process for optimized results.
Below, consider the ten steps that you should take in implementing your PMO.
1. Identify Sponsor and Key Stakeholders
The first step in implementing your PMO is to identify your sponsor and key stakeholders. This process will allow you to choose the people in charge of your project.
- Project Sponsor
The project sponsor is the person in charge of the project. This individual is one who does not get involved in the day-to-day operations. Instead, they oversee the project and receive reports and updates from the project manager.
Importantly, the project sponsor also provides funding and monetary support for the project.
- PMO Steering Committee
The PMO steering committee works to create value in the project by working at both the organizational and the project levels. The PMO steering committee will hold frequent meetings throughout the process.
- PMO staff
The size of the PMO staff will differ from project to project. This diverse staff should have different skills so that the PMO can properly support the project management process.
- Affected stakeholders
Finally, it’s important to remember that during this initial step, you’ll also want to identify affected stakeholders. These individuals are those who have stake in the project and will be affected by its results.
Affected stakeholders include individuals such as customers, contractors, and suppliers.
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2. Perform Assessment
Once this team has been assembled, it’s time to perform an assessment. This assessment will determine the current state of the process and allow you to determine the correct project management processes to include.
In order to conduct your analysis, consider the following steps:
- Perform Gap Analysis
A gap analysis will allow your PMO team to measure the current state of your project against established goals. Factors to consider include things such as labour, and money.
- Study Current State and Feasibility of Implementing Project Management Processes
Once this is done, you’ll need to study the current state of your project management and determine what project management processes are appropriate. This will be based on the steps you’ll need to take to reach your target.
- Perform Risk Assessment
Next, you’ll need to perform a risk assessment to identify any risks that you may face. This will help you better plan for and manage setbacks.
Examples of risks that businesses may face include issues with the budget and top management commitment.
- Desired Future State
Finally, be sure to layout the desired future state of your project. This will allow your team to stay focused and on track, as well as give you a measuring stick for your progress.
3. Prepare Proposal
After this, you’ll be ready to prepare your project proposal. Preparing your proposal is an involved and important process consisting of the following steps:
- Define Objective
First, define an objective—or direction—for your project. This will serve as the overall mission statement for your project. In other words, it’s the goal you’re hoping to achieve.
- Create Business Case
Following this, you’ll need to create a business case. This document is your written argument designed to get approval for your project proposal. For this reason, it’s important to spend time on creating a well-thought-out business plan.
- Project Management Strategy Roadmap
Additionally, you’ll want to create a project management strategy roadmap. Here, you’ll want to lay out a simple presentation of your planned project goals. You’ll also want to include a timeline. Importantly, though, make sure that you don’t go too in-depth. You’ll just want to quickly layout your ambitions in a clear manner.
- Select a Suitable Project Management Methodology
Next, you’ll want to choose the appropriate project management methodology. There are several different methodologies to choose from: including:
PRINCE2 is a popular modern methodology that focuses on document-oriented processes. Or, you may choose to use the critical path method (CPM)—a methodology that focuses on mapping out and planning critical tasks first.
Other methodologies include PMBOK and Agile, the former being an approach that includes five separate phases of the project lifecycle, and the latter focusing on a quality-driven approach to maximize value.
- Project Management Information Systems
Project management information systems (PMIS) refer to software that help facilitate the collection and the organization of information needed to successfully complete a project.
Importantly, at this stage, companies will need to determine if their projects require the need to invest in a new PMIS.
- Project Management Tools and Templates
Next, you’ll want to determine which your project management tools and other resources—such as templates—you’ll need to successfully finish your project.
Finally, work with your team to determine a budget for your project. This budget should be determined based on empirical data in the most cost-effective manner.
Things to consider in your budget include funds necessary to purchase a PMIS, money to secure any licensing needed to buy the project management tools required, and training costs throughout the process.
4. Get Approval from Project Sponsor
Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to get your proposal approved by the project sponsor. Typically, this means that they’ll have to approve your project’s scope, timeline, and budget.
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5. Develop Procedures and Processes
After receiving approval from your project sponsor, you’ll need to develop your procedures and processes. These include:
- PMO Policies and Procedures
Here, you’ll need to develop PMO policies and procedures that determine how your PMO will operate. These processes can include anything from training, recruitment, and even documentation.
- Project Management Process
You’ll also need to develop strategies for your project management process. At this stage, you’ll need to develop a detailed plan. Your comprehensive project management process plan should include every phase of the project management process, including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & control, and closing.
- Communication Plan
How will your team members communicate? What’s the chain of command?
These are questions that you’ll need to answer in your communication plan. By having a solid communication plan, you’ll be able to ensure that the process goes smoothly. With quick and accurate reporting, you’ll be able to resolve issues as they arrive, as well as keep track of important data.
- Risk Management Process
How will you respond to risks? What risks may you face in the short term? Which ones may develop later in the process or even after the project is complete?
By considering these factors, you’ll be able to develop a solid risk management process that strengths your overall project management strategy.
- Change Request Process
For your project to be successful, you’ll need to have an effective change request process. A change request process allows for members to adjust the process in light of new data. This will then be reflected in the project plan. Change requests generally are written and include formal documentation that must be approved by the project sponsor.
- Issue Management Process
During your project, you’re certain to encounter issues. By having the right issue management process in place, however, you’ll be able to better address them as they arise.
Issues tend to be more unexpected than risks, so your management plan needs to be flexible enough to accommodate for a number of different issues.
- Training Plan
Finally, how will you train management and other team members? Having the right training is key to ensuring that everyone understands their role in the project management process. This can help you achieve the results that you’re looking for.
6. Establish the PMO
With this behind you, you’ll need to move on to establishing your PMO. To do so, keep the following information in mind:
- Outline PMO Services
First, you’ll need to outline your PMO services. These services include things that help ensure that the project is running smoothly, including project management consultancy and project management training.
- Roles and Responsibilities
Next, you’ll need to determine the roles and responsibilities for the staff in your PMO. These roles typically include a PMO head, a project administrator, and project managers.
- PMO Scope
What’s the scope of your PMO? Where does its jurisdiction end, and where are its powers limited? By defining a PMO scope, you can help maximize its efficiency, as well as ensure that everyone has a better understanding of policies and procedures.
- Create PMO Handbook
Next, you’ll need to create a PMO handbook that clearly outlines this information. By having a formal document that cements regulations, you can ensure that there aren’t any misunderstandings or hiccups along the way.
- Project Management Tools and Templates
What project management tools will you need? What templates will you use? By finding the right tools and templates for your project, you’ll be better able to execute your project, as well as track important milestones and information.
Tools and templates that you’ll need include a project charter, a project status report, and an issue register, among others. These documents layout the goals of a project, update the project’s progress at a fixed point in time, and report on issues that are facing the project, as well as methods taken to resolve these issues.
- Project Management Information Systems
Finally, you’ll need a project management information system that stores and manages your data. This will allow your team to stay on the same page throughout the process, as well as provide for more accurate decisions.
7. Training and Workshops
You’ll want to hold training and regular workshops for members involved in the process. This can help ensure that all team members have a clear understanding of what their roles and duties are. In this way, the project can be completed more successfully, and team members can stay motivated. By having a clear direction, team members can better focus on executing their duties in an effective manner.
Training and workshops should be given to all of the following:
- PMO Steering Committee
- PMO Staff
- Project Managers
- Other stakeholders
8. Implement New Project Management Process
Now, you’re ready to implement your new project management process. At this stage, you’ll need to follow three important steps to ensure that your new process is a success.
- Implement Communication Plan
First, you’ll want to implement your communication plan.
The communication plan is important, as it updates stakeholders on the objective of the new project management process. It also provides progress and status updates to keep individuals informed of the state of the process.
- Enforcement of Policies
Make sure that you have a strategy in place to enforce your policies. In this way, you can keep team members active in their roles. By having an enforcement policy in place, you’ll be able to help make sure that your plan is followed and executed correctly.
- Monitoring and Review of Implementation Status
When this is done, you’ll need to monitor and review your implementation status. Look for any issues that you may have encountered so that you can track and correct any problems.
9. Post Implementation
After implementing your new PMO and project management plan, you’ll need to take the following three steps:
- Create Implementation Report
- Document Lessons Learned
- Communicate success
By creating an implementation report, your team can keep track of important data relevant to the success of your project. Additionally, by documenting lessons learned, your team can be better prepared for any issues that may occur during future projects.
Finally, be sure that you take the time to communicate the success of your implementation plan to all team members so that everyone involved has an understanding of where the project stands.
10. Continuous Improvement
Once this is done, however, your work isn’t overall. With everything in place, you’ll need to continuously monitor your project to find ways to continually improve strategies.
To do that, consider taking the following actions:
- Implement Continuous Quality Improvement Program
- Implement Quality Management Process
By having a continuous quality improvement program and a quality management process, you can ensure that your project is meeting targeted standards.
The Bottom Line
Finally, keep the above information in mind as you work to implement your PMO and new project management process. By following the advice above, you can help maximize the effectiveness and quality of your new PMO and project management plans.
Additionally, remember that doing a proper assessment for your project is important. You’ll want to hold off on actually implementing your PMO and new project management processes until getting approval. This requires support for top levels of management, as well as everyone involved in the project. Once you’ve received this, you’ll be ready to begin your new process.