A Better Approach to  Building Your PMO

When building a PMO, most companies bring in a consulting company to do the job.  And more often than not, the PMO fails in operation, because:

  • It is not working, in that it is not doing what it was intended to do for the organization. The functionality, user interface, and processes are not in line with the organizational needs and wants.
  • It is too complicated, so it requires high level of specialty to operate it, which means building the capacity internally for operation is nearly impossible. This results in relying on outside resources operating the PMO, and internal stakeholders unable to interact with the system.
  • It is not liked by stakeholders, whether management or team members, people avoid using the system because of how complicated it is.

A crucial role that can avoid all these headaches is that of an independent PMO Architect.

The PMO Architect should be a veteran with many successful PMO launches under his or her belt.

 The PMO Architect must be able to:

  • Assess company needs
  • Draw the PMO charter, governance, and data flow
  • Help write the RFP
  • Help select supplier
  • Recommend a software tool that suits company needs
  • Monitor the development and operation of the PMO to ensure it is done as intended and meets organizational needs

AFTER the PMO architect designs the PMO, then a consulting company can come in and implement the architecture and build the PMO.

Unfortunately, most companies do one of the following mistakes:

  • Develop the PMO architecture in-house themselves.


  • “Borrow” PMO Architecture from another company similar to their company.  So if they are a government entity, they find a PMO architecture from another government entity that is already in ooperation, and they copy the same architecture.


  • Ask the same company that will build the PMO to also do the PMO architecture.

All these mistakes add to risk of failure because:

  • The company might not have internally the expertise to do the PMO Architecture.
  • The PMO is not a one-size-fits-all.  So copying another PMO from a sister company might not fulfill the needs of your company.
  • The developer might have a preset system that they implement, so the PMO might not be fit for the client company.

Having a PMO Architect does not have to add to the cost.  It will definitely save money and reduce chance of failure.

The PMO Architect should be contracted first.  Then he or she should help in the supplier selection.

After the implementation work starts, the PMO architect can help with many important tasks:

  • Check that the supplier is doing quality work.
  • Ensure PMO is operated properly and might be able to suggest refinements where needed.
  • Be a trusted advisor for the client.

Starting the discussion with a PMO Architect will add value and:

  • Improve the chances of launching the PMO successfully
  • Result in higher ROI from PMO initiative
  • Reduce learning curve and resistance
  • Improve chances of sustainability

**Watch my Youtube Video summarizing this post

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