Your project management office (PMO) needs to demonstrate value to the organisation it works within if you want it to survive. The first step of the PMO Value Ring is defining your PMO services so you can start to understand how it adds value.

There are eight steps to the PMO Value Ring, which we will be looking at in detail in coming posts. Here, we’ll be focused on the first step of the PMO Value Ring, which is to define the PMO services.

To help you complete this initial step, we’re covering:

  • What PMO services and clients are
  • How to define your PMO services
  • Why you need to clearly define your PMO services

What are my PMO’s services?

A PMO service is a function undertaken by your office. There are many activities that your office will already do – you need to list them clearly, so you have an understanding of everything you do.

Some examples of PMO services include:

There are plenty more and this by no means an exhaustive list.

You also need to understand who your PMO clients are. These are people that you offer your services to, such as:

  • Senior management
  • Project managers
  • Team members

It’s important to identify the people your office serves so you can move on to defining the PMO services in a clear and controlled way.

How do I define my PMO’s services?

Once you’ve compiled a list of the services your PMO offers, you need to rationalise it against your client list.

Look at each service you offer and identify exactly what benefit it offers to your clients. In a new PMO, this can be a list of what you think you should be doing that is then matched to clients or you can ask your clients what they need from you.

In an established PMO that you want to refresh and revitalise, work with your team to understand their outputs and where they are delivered to. Follow the path of where the output goes to establish who the end client is.

Your services need to offer something to your clients – it’s a clear way of defining the value that your office gives to the business. If you can’t identify a client for a service you perform, you should evaluate if it’s a good use of time and resources.

Once you understand how your services provide for your clients, you need to understand the priorities. Calculate the probability that each service will generate the expected benefit for each client.

Using these probabilities, you can establish priorities for your PMO services. Services with a low probability of delivering their expected value will need to be evaluated to see if they can be improved or even if they’re needed at all.

Why do I need to define my PMO services?

To establish the value your PMO offers, you need to know how you offer value. Every activity your PMO offers needs to have a reason and be connected to a person or team who you work with.

This is also a good exercise to understand if there are ways to cut loose some activities. For example, there may be a report that gets produced regularly, but it isn’t needed by any client so you can stop using resources to produce it.

You’re completing the PMO Value Ring to show the organisation that you have something important to offer. Knowing everything that your office does and who it is for is a great way to establish this and will help you complete the rest of the steps in the ring.

The PMO Value Ring starts with defining your PMO’s services and continues to balance your PMO’s mix of services.