Project management offices (PMOs) comes in all shapes, sizes, and structures. If the PMO you work in is feeling tired, you need our complete guide to restructuring and reorganising your PMO.

Whether you’ve been promoted to be running it, been hired in to run it, or recognise the need to change what you’ve worked with for years, there are times when a PMO needs new life. If your office is stuck in a rut, not quite hitting target, or faced with the axe, it’s time to take action.

To start our series about restructuring your PMO, we’re going to give you an overview of the restructuring process. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Reasons why you should reorganise your PMO
  • The right time to change your PMO structure
  • How you can go about changing your PMO structures

With each topic being covered in more detail in upcoming posts.

Why should I restructure my PMO?

PMOs can have a reputation as being under threat of closure. The misconception of this type of office is that it’s an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy or doesn’t contribute to business goals and strategy.

Of course, a well-run PMO shouldn’t have these issues but you may also notice problems creep in. Your office many start just scraping through its KPIs or delivering projects that don’t feel quite as successful as before.

It’s also possible that the wider business is looking to streamline and you really need to justify the cost of your PMO.

By reorganising your PMO before any major issues come to light, you can achieve:

  • Fresh approaches that keep team members and project managers on their toes
  • A new way to achieve KPIs and demonstrate value to the business
  • Different powers such as commissioning as well as monitoring projects
  • A deeper role in organising the business

When is the right time to reorganise my PMO?

It can feel like there’s never the right time to wholesale rethink and restructure your PMO. There are some indicators that might trigger you into changing how your PMO works.

These are some circumstances where it would be opportune to restructure your PMO:

  • When the business is going through a wider reorganisation
  • If a survey about your activities has a lot of negative feedback about your PMO effectiveness
  • A new leader is appointed to your PMO
  • There is a quiet time in the schedule of the project teams under your PMO
  • The C-suite is being revitalised with new talent who appreciate the value of project work

Although it’s not harmful to keep your PMO ticking over, taking the time to evaluate your methods, goals, and overall positioning within the business periodically is important. Consistently being able to demonstrate the value of the office should protect it from being disbanded.

How can I restructure my PMO?

Once you’ve identified that your PMO does need to be jigged about, you need to get into the nuts and bolts of how to do this. It’s much like running any change project, for which your office has a lot of talent for.

You need to identify where your office’s deficiencies are. Knowing where your PMO should fit into the business and the contribution it’s expected to make will point to where the new office needs to go.

Figure out exactly what you will change in your PMO. Options for change can include:

  • The positioning of the PMO within the business
  • The structure of the PMO and its overall aims
  • Which project methodology is going to be used by projects
  • What management style will be best suited to the new PMO

What will I achieve through restructuring my PMO?

When you change your PMO structure, you will breathe new life into the work of your office. You might be completely changing the focus of what you do each day, or simply switching from one project framework to another.

By bringing in a different type of PMO you should see a better alignment with the business goals and better project delivery overall.

The take home

It’s a big task to reorganise a PMO. In our complete guide to restructuring and reorganising your PMO, we’ve outlined the basics of what you need to start considering, from the reasons for the change, the best time to undertake the reorganisation, and the way in which the restructuring will happen.