Tips for PMO template design

PMO Templates

One of the aims of a PMO is to standardize tools and processes.  One of the core ways that this can be achieved is through the design and implementation of PMO Templates.  This post provides an overview.

What are PMO Templates?

Example of PMO Template dashboardA template is defined as being a “pattern or gauge” or “used as a pattern to make something accurately”.  For example, templates are used in woodwork and dress making to allow something to be cut out consistently.  This is important if the part has to be a precise measurement.  If you did not use a pattern to cut out the sleeves for a dress, you would end up with different shape sleeves.

PMO templates are templates used to define and capture important project information.  At this point it is worth clarifying that there are project and PMO templates.  A project can define how risks will be defined and captured by way of a template.  However, the PMO may define a common standard to be used by all projects.  The template in this case may be referred to as a project template.  But it can also be seen as a PMO template as it is standardizing the process.

Project V PMO Template

To expand on this point.  While project and PMO template terminology is often interchanged, anything that standardized across more than 1 project can be seen to be a PMO or enterprise template.

Additionally there are templates that are specific to PMO.  These usually take the form of templates that allow information to be consolidated.  For example, each project may have their risks captured on a project template.  The PMO would ideally like a template that allows the consolidation and filtering of this information.  This is a good example of a PMO template.

What is the purpose of PMO templates?

The main objective is to define a standard way to capture important project information so that it can be easily consolidated, reviewed and compared.  Without the standardization it would be extremely difficult to produce meaningful reports.


PMO templates should help drive consistency and quality as well as making the consolidation process simple.  This means the PMO can effectively manage and review data.

This should mean the organization benefits from quality reporting produced in a timely manner.  This greatly reduces the risk that important items are missed and become issues to the successful delivery of the project.

Core Templates

A PMO should define a number of core templates:

  • Planning
  • Assumptions, Risks and Issues
  • Dependencies
  • Cost Management
  • Resource Management
  • Change Management
  • Reporting
  • Communication Management
  • Document Management

There are others but this is the core for any PMO.

Create V Buy

Creating templates is an investment of time and money.  Ideally an organization will have a set of defined templates to be used to manage projects.  However, this is not always the case.  Therefore, if an organization does not have predefined templates.  The time and effort to design, create, test and review needs to be factored into the project.  For example, taking the core templates 9 templates, each taking 1 day to design, create, test and review is 9 days effort.  The reality this will take much longer as time will be needed to complete the steps and gain input from stakeholders.

A good option is to look to invest in a set of pre-made templates.  This reduces much of the effort as other people have completed the hard work.  So for a relatively low investment, a project or PMO can purchase a set of templates, customize with organization name and then publish.

There are many contract project and PMO managers who have purchased templates so that they can quickly add value when they join an organization.  A small investment as low as $49.99 provides a huge amount of intellectual property in their kit bag.

Template Resources

The resources contained within the PM Majik Members Area include all of the Project Management and PMO templates you need to set-up a PMO and a very cost effective price.  For a very the low sum you gain instant access to all of the templates, guides and video tutorials you need.

This is not only cost effective but saves you valuable time.  Just think how much time it takes to design, review and test 1 template.  Now multiply this by all of the templates you will need.

Now imagine having access to all of the templates and guides you need instantly.  How much is your time worth?