IT Organizations Embrace PMO Model

March, 2012

A few years ago, project management offices were confined to larger organizations, but today well over half of all IT organizations report having PMOs. The establishment of PMOs has become a fast-growth trend among IT organizations in North America today.

Our report, Project Management Office Adoption and Best Practices, rates the adoption level for this practice as high in comparison to other common IT management best practices in our annual survey, as shown in Figure 1.

1 PMOAdoption Fig1 - IT Organizations Embrace PMO Model

We also rate the practice level as high. While not every project requires the oversight of the PMO, organizations that establish them tend to make frequent and consistent use of the support, systems, and processes they provide.

In an effort to improve project success, companies are establishing formal PMOs as centers of excellence for project management disciplines. In some organizations, the PMO operates as an advisory group to project managers who report directly to business units. In other organizations, project managers report directly to the PMO and are assigned to projects on a case-by-case basis.

In either scenario, one of the advantages of having the PMO as a distinct group is that it provides focus. The PMO provides an environment where IT professionals who show promise as project managers are trained in the principles and techniques of project management. The PMO also selects project management tools such as project planning and scheduling systems so that they are available for rapid deployment when new projects are launched.

The full study examines the extent to which IT organizations have deployed PMOs and measures the level of an organization’s engagement in the practice. We also look at how adoption of this IT management best practice differs by organization size and sector. Finally, we provide recommendations for monitoring the success of the PMO.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Project Management Office Adoption and Best Practices. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).