Defining a Project Support Office

Several varieties of PSOs are in use in contemporary organizations. Each serves a different purpose. Before you can consider establishing a PSO in your organization, you have to understand these differences. The purpose of this section is to describe those variations and ascertain what form is best suited for your organization. A good working definition of a Project Support Office is as follows:

image A Project Support Office (PSO) is a temporary or permanent organizational unit that provides a portfolio of services to support project teams that are responsible for a specific portfolio of projects.

The next three sections look at each of the major components of the PSO definition.

Temporary or Permanent Organizational Unit

Among the various forms of PSOs, some are temporary structures and some are permanent. That determination is made based on the types of projects that they support, as follows:

Temporary — PSOs that are temporary are usually called Program Offices, and they provide the administrative and other support needs of a group of projects that are related by purpose or goal. When those projects are completed, the Program Office is disbanded. Many government projects have Program Offices affiliated with them. They are generally long-term arrangements and involve millions or billions of dollars of funding.

Permanent — PSOs that are permanent ...

Get Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Sixth Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.