Project Management Offices (PMOs) Get Plenty of Use

March, 2013

The IT project management office (PMO) has achieved a degree of popularity as a best practice.

As shown in our report, Project Management Office Adoption Trends, the establishment of PMOs has become a widely embraced practice among IT organizations in North America. The profile in Figure 1 shows that this practice has a high adoption level in comparison to other practices in our annual study, IT Management Best Practices.

PMOAdoption Fig1 - Project Management Offices (PMOs) Get Plenty of Use

The practice level is also at a high level. In fact, it is at the highest level of any practice in the study. 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.

The full report examines the extent to which IT organizations have deployed PMOs and measures the level of 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.

In an effort to improve project success, many companies establish a formal project management office (PMO) as a center 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.

Organizations have found that 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.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Project Management Office Adoption Trends. 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).