The Golden Team – the importance of PMOs within a project team

The role of project support is misunderstood and nearly always under utilised.

Imagine yourself in the role of project manager where you have a right hand person who knows exactly where every project document is kept and which version you are currently on. Someone who knows which project team members are doing what, and which need the most support. A person who can take project information from you and format it into reports for senior management, or who knows contact details for all project stakeholders at the drop of a hat and can proactively arrange meeting schedules without needing to be asked.

Project Management Officers (PMO) are every project manager’s dream. Having a deputy who can take the day-to-day workings of a project, leaving you to concentrate on making decisions and improving project delivery.

But where do we find these paragons?

You may be lucky and find one just down the corridor – or you may have to build your own!

The first step in developing a PMO is to decide what you want them to be? Do you want them to be supportive, directive or both?

  • Supportive is about listening to your lead and direction and then sticking to it all the way through the project – no matter what else is happening. This PMO will take the daily grind of project administration off your hands and give you the space to make decisions and problem solve.
  • Directive is about taking ownership of project governance and proactively improving project efficiencies where necessary. This PMO paragon will almost become a deputy PM, able to communicate directly with and direct the project team without input from you when appropriate. To take project support to this level you truly do need to be a Golden Team.

The role of a professional PMO is fundamental in the delivery of an efficient, punctual and successful project, whether it’s in a supportive or directive role.  Take the time to develop your relationship with them, and your project world will get a whole lot easier.