According to Wikipedia, A project management office (abbreviated to PMO) is a group or department within a business, agency, or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.

Functions of PMO

Governance - The PMO’s governance function plays an important role by providing decision support for project sponsors, decision makers, and stakeholders involved in the program, organization and enterprise. Documenting governance decisions and tracking action items for future governance sessions provides the administrative support needed for effective decision making.

Functions of PMO in Project Management

Performance Management - The performance management function integrates project level status reporting and generates the program level status for executive reviews. The PMO investigates specific performance issues and communicates early warning signs of troubled projects. The PMO also enforces consistent performance reporting guidelines so each project reports project performance consistently.

Schedule Management - The schedule management function assists the program by identifying project level milestones and integrating them into an overall program level plan. The program level plan is a summarized view of critical program milestones. If the program is leveraging tools such as Microsoft Project Server or CA Clarity, the PMO may integrate the detailed project schedules into a detailed program schedule. The PMO also monitors schedule variances and recommends corrective action.

Quality Management - The PMO provides quality management by providing expertise in quality control, quality assurance, coordinating quality inspections, and process coaching. This function is often perceived as administrative overhead and intrusive to individual projects, however, it is a critical function for consistent delivery. The PMO should inspect project level deliverables and more importantly provide coaching to project teams requiring additional project management support.

Communications Management - Every project and program requires a communications plan. Although the target audience and frequency may vary at the program and project levels, the PMO creates the overall program communication standards for projects to follow. The PMO will also assist the program manager in developing necessary communications to program stakeholders.

Supplier Management - The PMO supports supplier management by monitoring the various suppliers providing services to the program and notifying the program manager of supplier performance issues. Supplier performance scorecards are integrated through the PMO and individual suppliers work with the PMO to understand performance-reporting standards.

The need for highly competent, confident, and effective project managers is growing, in a world where projects are becoming larger, more complex, and increasingly cross-cultural.

It is no longer enough to master the essential tools and techniques involved in managing tasks, costs, and resources. To be an excellent project manager, you must have driven, confidence, and attitude, and be able to lead your team to success through your vision and engagement.

You must become a project management champion and take your team on a journey by sharing an appealing project vision and a road map for achieving that vision. These are the tasks project manager should perform every day

Focus on Customer Needs

The single biggest success factor for a project is whether it delivers what the customers really need.

Focus on Customer Needs in Project Management
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Not only will that create a happy customer, it will also dramatically increase your success as a project manager.

The tricky part is that customer needs aren’t necessarily synonymous with what the customers say they want. Outstanding project managers focus on the customer’s real needs and seek to uncover the reasons behind the requirements.

They do that through enquiry and by consistently learning about the client’s business.

Keep Your Promises

As a project manager is it absolutely essential that what you say and do is credible and that your clients and stakeholders trust you.

Keep Your Promises in Project Management
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When you take on an action or commit to a deadline – however big or small – always deliver it when you said you would. This is also true when it comes to chasing other people for the actions they take on.

You will gain an enormous amount of respect for being effective, timely and reliable and it will be easier for you to plan and execute the project with minimal resistance. Set a good example in everything that you do.

Be Proactive

They key to success for any manager and leader is to be proactive and consistently focus your efforts and attention on the long-term as opposed to being reactive in the present moment.

Be Proactive in Project Management
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Too often we get caught up in urgent or unimportant activities and we procrastinate on the big important things such as planning and initiating the project properly, writing the business case, learning about our client’s business or taking the time to build strong relationships with our customers and team members.

Don’t sit back and wait for things to happen. Take the initiative as a matter of course.

Support Your Team

Your team is the project’s biggest asset so nurture it and enable each individual team member to thrive.

Allow for people’s individuality, play to their strengths and give them the support they need to succeed. To build a great team, spend one-on-one time with people on a weekly basis.

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Ask them what you can do to help, what they worry about and how you can assist them in working more effectively.

Never be afraid to ask questions and to lend a helping hand. One of your most important roles is to remove blockages so that your team can get on with its work.

Delegate

If you are to add maximum value, you must learn to delegate. This will help you create space to concentrate on the big picture and on the strategic aspects of the project.

Delegate Project Management
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Tracking timesheets, taking minutes and planning detailed work-streams are important aspects of a project, but it’s not important that you do them.

Get a project administrator on board or train your senior team leads to take on a more senior role.

Not only do you develop their skill set, you also free yourself up to focus on customer relationships, communication, team building and setting the vision.

Challenge the Status Quo

It is no longer enough to turn up for work and deliver a project the way we used to.

The global crisis has meant that everything is being scrutinized and that executives are constantly on the look-out for how we can deliver change in a better, cheaper and faster way.

Challenge the Status Quo in Project Management
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You need to challenge the status quo on a daily basis and help identify how the team can work smarter, what new technologies you can employ, which extra benefits you can deliver and how project processes can be improved.

Stay Calm under pressure

As a project manager, you are under daily pressure to deliver, make decisions and sort out issues.

You need set a great example by managing your state of mind and remaining calm when the pressure is on. Maintain a balanced perspective and think of solutions rather than placing blame or making knee-jerk decisions.

Stay Calm under pressure in Project Management
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In situations of conflict, take on the role of a mediator and convey both sides of the argument. Whatever you do, do it well; as the way you conduct yourself is the most you can ever expect from your team.