What is PMO? And Why Companies Are Adopting Them

Project management has been around since the 1950s. Back then, it was used as an application, then a separate field of study in the 1960s. The field was formalized with PMI’s first Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) handbook, first published in 1996. Since then, many industries have adopted project management offices. Let’s explore what PMO is and why organizations are adopting it to improve quality and reduce service and product delivery costs.

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What is PMO?

A project management office is a group of people that manage and oversee the day-to-day operations of the project management process. The project management process entails planning, executing, controlling, reporting, and closing projects. PMO ensures that projects are delivered on time with high quality to keep up with company goals. For companies, adopting PMOs guarantees an organized approach to managing projects to save time and money on any mishaps that could occur without oversight.

Roles and Responsibilities of a PMO

A PMO has several different roles and responsibilities, which include:

  • Differentiating projects from other projects that are being executed within the company.
  • Providing the project team with an enterprise-wide perspective.
  • Serving as a repository for project knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices.
  • Ensuring project teams are on schedule, within budget, and meeting quality standards.
  • Ensuring compliance with the company’s policies and procedures, including those regarding human resources management.
  • Managing conflicts between departments or stakeholders.
  • Monitoring compliance with contract terms, contractual obligations, and legal requirements.
  • Keeping senior management informed about risks, issues, and changes in scope of projects as they arise so that managers can take appropriate actions to avoid delays or costly overruns.

Types of PMOs

There are three types of PMOs: supportive, controlling, and directive.

Supportive PMO

This type of PMO usually deals with supporting the other departments in the company. They might be involved in administrative tasks such as providing training for employees or managing databases that store important information about projects. Supportive PMOs only provide help when needed.

Controlling PMOs

They give templates, reporting, and procedures. Controlling PMOs provide support but aren’t in charge of everything. It only puts some measure of control on the project. This PMO is the most common in project management.

Directive PMOs

These are often set up by a company’s executive team. Directive PMOs, as their name suggests, can be quite commanding. They are common in highly regulated work environments.

Why you need a PMO

Before deciding whether you need a PMO, you should assess how your company works and its needs. You might not need one if your company does not have many projects or does not work on projects for long periods. On the other hand, if you have many projects with deadlines coming up quickly, it may be worth exploring the possibility of implementing a PMO from HotPMO. They will meet and engage you on your issues. After understanding your problems, they will draw from their industry experience to tailor a solution that meets your needs.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what a PMO can do for you. The role and responsibilities of a PMO will vary from organization to organization, depending on the company’s size, industry, and specific needs. Still, some common threads run through all successful PMOs.

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