Designing EPMO

Designing an Enterprise PMO – How it Looks and Feels

Once you know your organisation needs a project management office (PMO), you need to choose the right one for your needs. When you choose to design an enterprise PMO, how it looks and feels will dictate how well it achieves your goals.

An enterprise PMO, sometimes called a business PMO or abbreviated to EPMO, has a different feel to a traditional PMO although there are tasks and functions that are the same. Every organisation will need something a little different out of their PMO, so we’re going to explore what an EPMO can offer.

To help you decide if an EMPO is what you need, let’s take a look at:

  • What an enterprise PMO will look like in your business
  • The functions that can be assigned to an enterprise PMO
  • How an EPMO fits it businesses of different sizes

How does an enterprise PMO fit into my organisation?

An enterprise PMO is there to ensure that projects align with business strategy. There are different ways the office can achieve this, but the focus will always be to ensure the business is moving forward and achieving its goals.

The KPIs of an EPMO will be related to business outcomes. It’ll be tasked with ensuring a strong return on investment from the projects under its control. Rather than working on adherence to policy and conformance to standards, the EPMO makes sure that the business grows through projects.

Think of it like this – an enterprise PMO focusses on arriving at the end of a project successfully, in contrast to some other PMO types that emphasise how the projects get there. When there are projects that don’t seem to be delivering for the bottom line, introducing an EPMO or restructuring towards this set-up will be beneficial.

What does an EPMO do?

As with any style of PMO, you can assign any function to oversee projects to your EPMO that works with the talent within the office. Some of the functions you’d expect to see in this type of office include:

  • Setting goals for projects and defining parameters of success that match up with the overall aims of the business
  • Managing risk within projects in terms of whether a project will be a success and can deliver everything stakeholders require
  • Allocating resources and acquiring it when needed to ensure budgets are met and investment is made in the right areas
  • Supporting project managers with training and other tools to enable them to drive their projects forward
  • Monitoring KPIs to ensure projects are on track to hit budgets and deliverables
  • Pitching and possibly commissioning projects, depending on the set up, to make sure projects that will have the best effect on the business are visible to the C-suite

What type of business does an EPMO work for?

An enterprise PMO can be used across a range of different businesses. In larger organisations, an EPMO can monitor satellite project management offices and look after the strategic aims whilst smaller offices run reports and do admin.

When a business has a strong change agenda, an EMPO can be set up to support the business needs. This requires the work of the office to be outcome oriented. There should also be a strong value add from an enterprise PMO.

In terms of the type of PMO you’d categorise this type of office, it falls into the field of a proactive or managerial PMO. A business with projects that seem to miss milestones or don’t ever seem to conclude will do well to bring in an EPMO.

Even in smaller businesses, an EPMO can ensure projects really deliver the returns needed when budgets are tight and outcomes need to be in place quickly.

The take home

An enterprise PMO should be a place where time and financial budgets are the primary focus. When designing the look and feel of your enterprise PMO, be sure that it is hardwired into the strategy of the business.

Administration can be part of this type of office, although it’s not the main activity. Getting projects across the line so that they produce profit or outcomes that facilitate future profits is what an EPMO should be aiming for.