Project Management Offices Put to Full Use

September, 2015

The project management office, or PMO, is one IT management practice that rarely ends up as shelfware. The majority of IT organizations that have PMOs make full use of them, according to our study, Project Management Office Adoption Trends.

Figure 1 from the study shows that PMOs earn a high rating for practice level. This means that organizations that establish PMOs tend to make frequent and consistent use of the support, systems, and processes they provide. The maturity of this practice also earns a high rating, largely because the practice level is so strong. The maturity rating is based on a combination of the adoption rate and practice level.

PMO Practice Fig 1 - Project Management Offices Put to Full Use

Meanwhile the adoption of this practice appears to be stagnating at a moderate level.  While large organizations have widely embraced the use of PMOs, small organizations often lack the scale to do so. Companies that have not yet created PMOs are not likely to do so, at least in the near future, the study also finds. The ratings are based on comparisons with 32 other IT management practices in our survey.

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 engagement in the practice. We also look at how adoption of this IT management best practice differs by organization size and sector. In addition, the study provides 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 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).