Responsibilities of the PMO
Depending on which role is selected for the PMO, the responsibilities differ. The general responsibilities of a PMO are:
Methodology Creation: The PMO can help create the company methodology. The intent is to create successful and repeatable processes.
Provide Project Management: Some PMO structures will house the project managers as a separate department. In these cases, the PMO would supply the project management function to the business units.
Resource Planning: Advanced PMOs can function as a resource manager, forecasting the demand for resources, planning for needs, and maximizing the productivity of project resources.
Centralized Reporting: One of the key functions of PMOs is to provide organization-level reporting. They can provide the complete view of all project activity and summarize cost and progress reporting for the entire company.
Knowledge Center: Some PMOs will act as an advisor and will maintain a knowledge center for project documentation. This includes maintaining historical information on past projects and creating a repository of information for use by the company. The information could be a summarization of the most common risks or issues the company faces or an analysis of the accuracy of project estimates.
Project Selection: The most mature and advanced PMOs are generally involved in creating criteria and methods for project selection. This is designed to help a company pick the right projects and ensure that the project efforts are aligned with the company's objectives. This entails many of the above items, like resource planning and knowledge center, to occur.
This is just a small sample of the responsibilities of a PMO. Most PMOs are undertaken because of a specific need or issue that the company faced. Whatever the cause, be sure to create a charter to clearly define the responsibilities of the PMO.