This blog post will cover the importance of producing a PMO charter.  As I have mentioned before, there is no such thing as a standard PMO.  They are all different and should be designed to meet the objectives of the organisation while, being aligned to the culture of an organisation.

What is the purpose of PMO charter?

The purpose of a project charter is to define the scope, objectives and participants of a project.  The same is equally true of a PMO charter, it defines the scope of the PMO i.e. oversight of all change programmes over £5 million of spend, the objectives of a PMO i.e. promote the use of standard project delivery methodology to improve the probability of success and participants i.e. define the PMO organisation structure and name role holders.

A PMO charter is simply a document, normally designed in a word processor or presentation.  The document will contain words and diagrams to clearly articulate the scope, objectives and participants of the PMO.  It is important that the document is direct and to the point.  This helps to ensure that the key points are easy to understand and, does not discourage people from reading (a long document may have ‘thud’ factor but many will be put-off from reading, important points will be missed and it could be viewed as being bureaucratic).

What to include in the PMO charter?

The key points to cover in a PMO charter is:

  • Background – set the context and reason for setting up the PMO
  • Scope – make it clear what services the PMO will provide (“what it will do”).  It also is worth capturing specific services that will not be provided (especially if they are what may be expected).
  • Organisation Structure – explain how the PMO is structured and who covers each role.
  • Engagement Model – document how the PMO will engage with projects and stakeholders.
  • Services – provide more information on the services that will be provided by the PMO.

You should also add details of any specific service or responsibility over and above the points listed above if it is important and / or required by your organisation.  Remember, the PMO is designed to serve the needs of your organisation.

For more details, you may want to visit the post How to develop a PMO charter.