How to maximise use of a PMO to successfully deliver organisational change

A Project Management Office (PMO) is the enabler of the governance of organisational change, providing support for the processes of project management.

The form and structure a PMO should take is fluid and depends on the size of the business and the scale of the project. For example, for a small firm implementing minimal change, the PMO may simply act as a set of functions carried out by the various employees carrying out the project. On the other hand, when an international corporation wishes to undertake large scale change, there may be numerous people within the PMO function who act at the centre, overseeing the effective delivery of the implementation. Fundamentally, whilst the form of the PMO may be different between firms, the function remains constant. It acts as a control function to ensure smooth delivery of organisational change.

For those who are a designated PMO, there are a number of traits which are integral to their success. The most vital trait is communication and collaboration. A PMO must be able to adjust their style with each stakeholder and project team member to help obtain the best outcome. The PMO must recognise and tailor their approach to fit with employees. The PMO will be required to collaborate with a number of different people from all levels of the delivery team. They will need to be able to sew together various components of change to ensure it functions smoothly. This requires an ability to compartmentalise problems. Another important characteristic required is adaptability. A PMO must ensure they are able to adapt to the methodology of the company to manage, support and lead that framework.

The benefits of an effective PMO are numerous, they will drive up standards and provide strategic alignment between the leadership and change implementation team. Furthermore, it increases the chances of the success of the project, streamlining delivery and ensuring it meets deadlines and remains within its budget.

For a company to provide an effective foundation for a PMO to succeed, it must establish regular communication and support from senior leadership and ingrain project management as integral within the company culture. In addition, it must clearly define roles and responsibilities prior to any project being taken up to ensure clarity when organisational change is implemented.

by Hari Reilly-Singh