Success Factors on PMO Establishment

               Establishing a PMO in an organization has been a very well-accepted movement for middle and big-sized organizations in the past 10 years. Due to the fact that management is in need of tools to manage all of the projects in their organization, PMO concepts actually answer to this requirement. However, success establishment and development of PMO is still and always a challenging question for organization management schemes. In this article, we are going to analyze what makes PMO achieve in the organization.
Reasons for PMO accomplishment or requirements on setting up PMO are essential to top management to take action in order to assess the readiness on having PMO. Critical success factors for PMO achievement consists of the following 7 factors:

            1. Executive Buy-in and Supporting
            Top management must realize benefits of PMO and must support PMO establishment. This kind of support must be in form of PMO establishment budget, PMO assignment for an experienced team or working group, approval on PMO roadmap, clear benefit expectation on PMO, communication to stakeholders on benefits of PMO, use of PMO information for business progress and change leadership to apply project management best practice in organization.

            2. Experienced PMO team and Qualified Project Manager
            In a PMO structured with project managers and PMO staffs,  skills, experiences and project management capability of project manager and PMO staffs are significantly influence PMO founding. For this reason, before PMO founding it must be assured that there are excellent skill trainings for them.  Furthermore, PMO staffs who join the team must know project management and should have PMO founding experiences.  
            3. Applicable and Practical Methodology
            One imperative dilemma on PMO beginning is that PMO teams usually apply 100% processes and procedures from project management best practice in the organization which causes project managers’ rejection. For that reason, one of the most significant factors of PMO establishment success is that PMO must need project management methodology or framework which is referred from best practice such as PMBOK or PRINCE2, etc. However, it should be gradually adapted only on necessary parts or corrected most of the organization’s problems. Still, PMO teams must use management tools on a few projects. Then, they just progressively adjust processes and procedures to best practice based upon organization’s growth and more acceptation.

           4. Automated tools and High visibility
           Supporting tool in project management or what we call Project Management Information System (PMIS) helps facilitating easier assignment supervision. PMIS also works as automated tools which support communication in the organization. Moreover, it is also used as projects’ dashboard exchanging messages between executives and other stakeholders. Excellent and proficient PMIS is one of the most imperative factors in successful PMO founding.

           5. Strong Leadership
           Setting up PMO needs very high leadership of PMO team members, particularly the Head of PMO or PMO manager must work in proactive basis. He or she must be able to evaluate risks and prevent crisis before happened. Also, Head of PMO or PMO manager must deal with any conflicts and resistance from project managers who do not agree with standardized project management methodology.

           6. Authority to take actions
           PMO must have authority to govern project management in the organization. PMO must have authorization in indicating defining project management standard methodology. Besides, PMO should be able to report any misconduct in the project to top executives along with specifying all projects to follow this authorization.

          7. Good Measurement and Continuous Improvement
          PMO must have efficiency and effectiveness measurement tools on both project’s output aspects and organization’s outcome aspects. What's more, PMO should continuously send project management measurement reports to top managements for acknowledgement and then, take these measurement results to improve continuously in sake of the organization’s maximum benefits.  
          All of 7 factors shown above are obviously necessary to occur before having successful and sustainable PMO. In the next article, we are going to analyze all risks which obstruct thriving and long-lasting PMO setting up. With this risk evaluation, we are able to recognize problems and find further solutions.
                                                                                                                Arintra Punyayuttakan, PMP