12 The Project Office


As companies begin to recognize the favorable effect that project management has on profitability, emphasis is placed on achieving professionalism in project management using the project office (PO) concept. The concept of a PO or project management office (PMO) could very well be the most important project management activity in this decade.

With this recognition of importance comes strategic planning for both project management and the PO. Maturity and excellence in project management do not occur simply by using project management over a prolonged period of time. Rather, they come through strategic planning for both project management and the PO.

General strategic planning involves the determination of where you wish to be in the future and then how you plan to get there. For PO strategic planning, it is often easier to decide which activities should be under the control of the PO than to determine how or when to do it. For each activity placed under the auspices of the PO, there may appear pockets of resistance that initially view removing this activity from its functional area as a threat to its power and authority. Typical activities assigned to a PO include:

  • Standardization in estimating
  • Standardization in planning
  • Standardization in scheduling
  • Standardization in control
  • Standardization in reporting
  • Clarification of project management roles and responsibilities
  • Preparation of job descriptions for project managers
  • Preparation of ...

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