Good project managers are an essential element of a successful project management office (PMO). When your office is tasked with delivering projects alongside managers, what can you do to facilitate a project manager through your PMO?
Your PMO might be tasked with directly managing project managers (PMs) or simply offering support and producing reports based on their work. However deeply involved in the work of the PMs running your projects, your office should aim to make management easier for them.
We briefly looked at what your PMO could do to manage PMs, so in this post, we’re going to dive deeper into how to facilitate their role through your office’s work. We’ll be looking at:
- What a PM needs from your office to be successful
- How you can enable effective project management
How can a PMO facilitate a successful project manager?
To create an environment where project managers can thrive and projects can get delivered on time and on budget, your PMO needs to have the right values and attitudes.
Whilst your office provides a framework, you need to give freedom to PMs to manage their project and team. You want PMs to feel like they have control and are able to use their skills effectively.
Be sure that don’t stifle creativity and that your office is adaptable to new ideas that PMs propose.
Even when your PMO is there to produce data for compliance, you need to send out more than just numbers. Your office should be able to explain when there are issues with data or how to implement a new practice and even offer management solutions for problems that could escalate.
Have a strong communication plan and stick to it. Using engaging comms methods to gain the buy-in of your PMs.
Tracking milestones, budgets, and other KPIs is a key role of a PMO. Be sure that everything your office does focusses on the outcomes of the projects and doesn’t take up time for no reason. Targets, processes, and reports for the sake of it makes no one’s life more exciting.
Ensure that everything your office does links directly back to the performance that’s expected and set an example to your PMs. Eliminate redundant actions and make sure every project is always looking to perform better.
Clear strategic vision
It’s important that your PMO is aligned with the vision and values of the organisation. When your office supports the overall business strategy, you can present that vision to PMs. Your office can also ensure that the company vision is baked into each project and your methodology.
Have processes, tools, and technology that matches what the business is all about. Reflect the values of the business in your work and communicate it well.
Well defined roles
As with lots of managers, PMs can find that they get pulled in lots of directions and take on a lot of responsibilities. By having clearly defined PM roles that everyone in your office is aware of, you can respect PM boundaries and not step on anyone’s toes.
Create a job description for your PMs, and clarify it if there is one already. Regularly review the work being asked of PMs to make sure they have the skills and the capacity to fulfil them.
The bread and butter of most PMOs, giving procedures, frameworks, processes and templates to your PMs will make their lives easier. Take the hard work of designing and managing repeatable processes away from managers and let them manage and lead – your PMO is the expert and processes.
Have a strong library of documentation to turn to, this will alleviate some of the workload of PMs. Be flexible with your processes and allow PMs to tweak them if needed.
Facilitating a project manager through your PMO will ensure that your projects get delivered. Your PMO is there to support the delivery of projects and the PM works to get tasks completed and ensure resources are allocated well. Working with PMs to facilitate their effective working will ensure the success of your PMO, too.