When it’s time for a business to create a project management office (PMO), there are things that you can do to ensure it will be a success. There are eight key success factors that will help ensure your new PMO works out.

We will explore how to ensure you have these success factors in place at the beginning of your PMO journey in future blogs. Here, we’ll give you an overview to help you start to plan to set up your new office.

Success factor 1: Management buy-in

A new PMO needs to have the support of the company leadership, first and foremost. It’s likely the idea to have a new office leading, and monitoring projects came from the C-suite, to begin with.

You will have a C-suite sponsor to support your PMO through its creation. It will be worth identifying other key business leaders who will have influence over the perceptions of your office and make sure they are informed and engaged in your work.

Success factor 2: Strong leadership

You will need to have strong leadership skills to establish a PMO. Your office will be coming into the business and adding a layer of reporting and administration which can cause people to become suspicious or disgruntled.

A great leader with good soft skills like relationship building can drive the success of a new PMO. You will also need to bring together a new team which also needs solid leadership and people skills.

Success factor 3: The right skills

A PMO will only be as good as the people working in it. As well as being a good leader, you need to have a great team in place to make a PMO a success.

There is a marked shortage of skills within project management and PMO staff. You may need to be flexible with your working terms to bring the right people in. You should also consider offering training to people already in the business if they have the right analytical or process-focussed mind.

Success factor 4: The right processes

One of the first decisions you’ll have when setting up a PMO is the methodology you’re going to use. This may already be in place business-wide, or you’ll need to change up how some or all projects work.

Whatever your situation going into a new PMO, you need to have a solid set of processes that every project will need to conform to. These can develop over time, but you need to go into the set-up with a plan for what things will look like.

Success factor 5: Prove your success

A well-defined set of goals and objectives will give you something to aim for. You need a set of guiding principles that will inform your priorities and actions.

Having these objectives will let you demonstrate what success looks like further down the line. Working towards some quick wins as you define your PMO services can help the rest of the business understand the value of your work going forward.

Success factor 6: Define KPIs

As well as high-level objectives, you need to have KPIs to work towards. Link your new KPIs to what you want to achieve in line with your business strategy, so you know everyone will be pulling in the same direction.

Have your KPIs ready at the start of your PMO journey. This will embed the concept within the team and the PMO culture for the long-run.

Success factor 7: Strong communications

Lay the foundations for a successful PMO with strong communications. Involve your C-suite with regular reporting, your project managers with changes you are implementing and why, and your PMO team so they know their work is important.

Make sure the whole business knows what your PMO is going to achieve and the positives it will bring. Keep this communication up to build business relationships.

Success factor 8: Have a plan

The final way to ensure success for a new PMO is to have a plan for what you’re going to do. You can have goals, but how are you going to achieve them?

Lay out what you want to do step-by-step. Of course, you need to be flexible if things change and affect your plan, but having a point of reference to go to when you need to know what’s next will help you work towards your definition of success.