Planning the restructure of a PMO

How to plan the reorganisation of your PMO

Changing the way your project management office (PMO) functions is a big step. Once the decision has been made to shake things up, you need to get it grips with how to plan the reorganisation of your PMO.

There are many reasons why you might need to reorganise your PMO, and lots of different options to choose from when looking at new structures. Armed with these choices, you need to get to implementing the changes.

Being adept at managing different projects in your organisation should make the task of reorganisation easy. It’s good to go over the process of planning the project rather than letting it go into auto pilot. Here, we’ll look at:

  • The first three steps that need to go into the planning of your reorganisation
  • Actions that you need to take at each step
  • The reasons behind completing each process as a defined task

1.      Be strategic

The reason your PMO needs restructuring will have some bearing on how you go about planning it. A shake up due to lagging targets will look different to changing things as your talent pool evolves.

Assess the strategic goals that your office has. This could dictate the type of timeframe that you plan for; missing KPIs month on month will need faster action than when merging two PMOs after a merger.

Define the problems that your PMO is there to solve. Be sure that the choices you make as you plan all feed into this key point.

Know the objectives you’re working towards. Changing to a business-focussed PMO may mean you’re now looking at ROI, shifting to a supportive PMO model will need a focus on project outcomes.

By taking the time to understand the end point of your reorganisation, you’ll be able to better measure the success of the project. Knowing what you want to achieve from the start is an important element of any project.

2.      Assess your structure

Before you can change anything, you need to know what you’ve got. This step can be very handy if you’re taking over a PMO or working to merge offices in a newly acquired company.

Make an organisational chart to understand where your team is positioned. Understanding your reporting lines and who exactly does what role will help you see where any problems are.

One important step to remember at this point is to engage with the people working in your PMO. The insights into where the pinch points are could be invaluable. They may know where workload is unevenly distributed or unnecessary layers of authority.

At this point you’re taking stock of what you have to work with. You may want to rip things up entirely and change everything; you might want to keep things as close to now as possible. You’ll only really know what needs changing when you know what you’ve got to start with.

3.      Redesign

Now you know where you want to be and what you have already in your PMO, it’s time to figure out what your new office is going to look like. You will need to consider lots of different elements, with the size of your PMO determining how much detail you need.

When redesigning the structure of your PMO, think about:

  • Lines of authority
  • Who the decision-makers are and where to put them
  • The roles and responsibilities of each job
  • Evenly distributing functions across the team

Laying out the details of exactly what the office is going to look like will help you to accomplish the plan much more easily.

The take home

Running a PMO, you’ll know all about preparing for a project well. Although how to plan the reorganisation of your PMO might seem an easy take based on your project experience, you still need to take care to complete each step well.

You’ll already appreciate how important adequate planning is to the success of a project. By knowing where you want your PMO to end up, what you have within the office already, and designing a new organisational chart, you’ll be ready to plan the specific tasks that will go into the reorganisation of your PMO.