Project management office (PMO) time management has different challenges to projects – you’re working from a recurring schedule with no final deliverable or end date. It’s just as important to know how time is being used, so in our guide to PMO time management, monitoring is our next topic.
There are different ways that you can monitor the work done by the team in your PMO. Each will have its pros and cons, and you may choose to use a mix of each to ensure full monitoring.
Since the function of your PMO is inherently different to the projects it oversees, you should take time to consider if you want to change the mix of the monitoring systems you use.
Here, were going to look at four different options for monitoring time management in your PMO.
1. Direct oversight
There are a range of ways a PMO leader can oversee the work of their team. By regularly communicating with your team, you can ensure tasks are being completed, and the right support is being provided.
Some of the ways you can directly monitor how time is being used in your PMO include:
- A daily stand-up or huddle meeting where everyone can review where they’re up to with tasks
- Verbal check-ins as often as necessary – you can ask your team members if this works for them
- Regular one-to-ones to ensure tasks have been getting completed and enough time is allocated
This is a very hands-on way to be on top of what goes on in your PMO. You’ll know issues as they come up and be able to adapt and change quickly based on direct feedback from your team.
There is a fine line to navigate with this type of monitoring time management. It’s possible to come across as being overbearing, and it can also end up eating into a lot of time that could be spent being productive.
You can ask your PMO team to compile a report on their work activities. This could be done a number of ways, such as having a tool that prompts your workers to update a task description every hour.
Other ways to implement this could include a manual report of activities completed at the end of the day or week – although a weekly report could risk inaccuracies.
When you allow your team to log their own work, you build trust between the business and them. Although you are asking workers to justify their time, it gives them space to do it in a way that gives them more control.
The drawback to self-reporting time management is that it can be burdensome. If you were to total all the hours spent logging work done, it could total a lot of time that could be better used elsewhere.
3. Screen recording or keystroke logging
A more technologically advanced way to monitor time management in your PMO is a screen recorder or keystroke logger.
There are a few different ways you can implement this:
- A tool records the computer screen constantly and stores it to be accessed later – this is data-heavy and probably only needed for highly sensitive work.
- A tool that allows a QA team to randomly record or live access the computer screen of a worker – this can also feel invasive.
- A tool that takes screenshots of what a person is doing at random times and can log the windows and apps running when the screenshot is taken.
These options can be accompanied by a keystroke logger with a level of productivity measured based on keyboard activity.
Time is still needed to check these options, and the costs can get high. You will have good resources to understand bottlenecks and issues independent of your team, though.
4. Measuring outputs
Rather than looking for justification for time spent, you can have your PMO measure the outputs of each person. When you started planning your time management, you will have defined the activities that each team member needs to complete.
You can use this list to monitor that all the work is being done accurately and on time. This is similar to how you measure a project – although how it was completed is valuable, getting the work done on time is one of the most valuable metrics.
Monitoring PMO time management
Once you’ve created a schedule to manage your PMO’s time, you need to find a way to adhere to it. Our guide to monitoring your PMO time management has given you four ways you can go about this important task.