This is the 3rd post in the series,. Defining objectives for a PMO to help the sponsor measure success.  The last post covered the approach for capturing the sponsor and stakeholders objectives (required to ensure you help the sponsor define what they want) and then translate into SMART objectives (important for the PMO to be able to measure / demonstrate the objectives have been met).  This is all well and good.  However, now you have the objectives clearly understood, you need to implement.

Step 3 of the proposed Action Plan was to define the Vision and Mission statements so as to be able to define the design principles for the PMO.  The rationale being that if you use the objectives and SMART objectives as inputs, you will be able to define a Vision and Mission statement that captures the objectives and can be understood.  Then when it comes to defining the principles for designing the PMO, the alignment should be traceable back to the original objectives.  So if you build the PMO based on these principles, you have a good chance of meeting the objectives.

PMO Vision

The PMO Vision Statement is a short aspirational description of what an organisation would like to achieve as a result of forming a PMO.   As the statement is short, a single paragraph or up to half a dozen bullets, it is important that the words are chosen carefully.  The words need to strongly convey what the service and culture of the PMO will look like over time.

You can find additional information in the PMO Vision post.

As it is often easier to understand through examples, below are the Vision statements for large global organisations.

  • Ford: To become the world’s leading Consumer Company for automotive products and services.
  • IKEA: The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. We make this possible by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at process so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
  • Nike: To be the number one athletic company in the world

So thinking about a PMO Vision statement examples:

  • To help our organisation become recognised as a leader in delivering change programmes that improve profitability and efficiency.
  • To be the trusted source of timely and transparent projects metrics.


PMO Mission

The aim of the Mission Statement is to define the business / organisations purpose and primary objectives / goals.  For more details please see post. PMO Mission.

When creating the Mission Statement you should use the following inputs:

  • PMO Vision Statement
  • Organisation Mission Statement (if available)
  • Organisation Values / Principles (if available)
  • Objectives (captured in step 1)
  • SMART objectives (captured in step 2)
  • Any other inputs that are relevant

The reason you should use any overall organisation Mission Statement is that you want to ensure the PMO Mission Statement is aligned to the organisation.  If not this will cause confusion and make stakeholder buy-in harder.

The consideration of Values and Principles is very important.  It is not unusual for an organisation to have principles on how they engage with customers, shareholders and employees, environment, etc.  Even to the extent where adhering to these values reduces profit.  Therefore, it is important that any PMO Mission Statement is aligned to these values.

Take all of the inputs and craft a paragraph or bullets that reflect the inputs.  You may find it easier to do this as a workshop with others.  However, you choose, don’t be concerned that in many cases the first draft will not be 100%.  It will naturally go through iterations before it is ready for sign-off.  The whole refinement (development) process helps clarify understanding.

Some examples of Mission Statements used by large global organisations (source

  • Ford: We are a global family with a proud heritage passionately committed to providing personal mobility for people around the world.
  • Microsoft: At Microsoft, we work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible
  • Nike: To Bring Inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

So for a PMO it may be:

  • To help senior management to make timely decisions through the provision of high quality and timely reporting.
  • To provide project teams with the tools, processes and support they need to improve the probability of successful delivery.

PMO Design Principles

This is key to the process.  You take all of the inputs from the objectives, mission, vision, etc and then draft design principles for your PMO.  By using the inputs you will have a high probability of designing a PMO that will meet the original objectives.

Remember, the purpose is to provide guidelines that can be easily understood by colleagues working on the PMO and a reference point when you make decisions about tools and processes.  Therefore, keep them brief and too the point – you do not want pages of design principles.

Example design principles:

  • Implement standard tools and processes that are essential and non bureaucratic to allow projects to be mobilised 20% quicker
  • Constantly review tools and processes and actively eliminate or modify where found to be “not fit for purpose”
  • Implement standard reporting of all projects over £5m to ensure full transparency of costs, benefits and status
  • Establish a culture of open project communication by promoting a “no blame” culture

 PMO Vision, Mission and Design Principles Worksheet

While the above may look like a checklist, the real aim is to ensure that the correct level of thought goes into understanding the requirements (problem to be solved) and that the proposed solution will resolve the problem.  This will save a lot of wasted time and effort.  It will also prevent difficult meetings with upset Sponsors!

Below is a simple worksheet to help with the design process.  You don’t necessarily have to complete the Mission and Vision steps.  However, it will help you gain clarity on what needs to be achieved.

PMO Mission, Vision and design principles worksheet

Download PMO, Vision and Design Principles Worksheet

Click to download worksheet

The next post will cover Designing the Implementation plan for the PMO.