Establishing and Maturing a Project Support Office

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

— Machiavelli, The Prince


After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe a Project Support Office (PSO)
  • Understand the signs that you need a PSO
  • Know the missions, objectives, and structures of the PSO
  • Know the functions performed by the PSO
  • Know how to establish a PSO
  • Understand the challenges to establishing a PSO
  • Know how to grow and mature your PSO

Your organization has put a project management framework in place. It is a highly adaptive framework that embraces projects in all four quadrants. You know that that framework adapts to every type of project. Teams are beginning to use it. However, you are not satisfied. Your expectation was that with everyone using a project management methodology, a higher percentage of projects would be successfully completed. So far there has been no measurable impact on project success. What can you do?

One of the most important organizational contributions to the success of project management has been the Project Support Office (PSO). But this will be a very special version of a PSO given the project situation. It is established to support project teams and reduce the risk of project failure. The PSO has several different names and variations in terms of mission, ...

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