One of the main functions of a project management office (PMO) is to get projects delivered on time. To be able to get project time management right, you need to get your time management within your PMO right, too.

You’ll no doubt already be aware of the seven processes of project time management – they’re a long-established principle of project management. Yet, you need to have strong time management inside your office to make sure it’s supporting projects properly.

Here, we’re going to briefly cover:

  • How to plan the time in your PMO
  • Creating a schedule for your PMO work
  • Ways to monitor the success of your office time allocation
  • Controlling time management within your PMO

The next few posts will delve into each in more details so you can make sure your PMO time management meets the same standards as your projects.

How do I plan and allocate time in my PMO?

While your expertise is in planning projects with start and end dates, running a PMO is an ongoing task. This means you need to plan activities differently, although you can take inspiration from how you’d plan a project.

The steps you need to take to start to plan how to allocate time in your office are broadly:

  • Take a broad view of all the office activities, such as reports, tasks and processes, that happen within a year
  • Understand how long each activity takes; be realistic and talk with the people who complete the tasks so your schedule will be accurate
  • Look at previous data, if possible, and see where ad-hoc tasks come from and how they affected your office – this will help you understand contingencies
  • Be aware of changes that are coming up, such as a change in process or a new report that’ll need more time allocated

Once you’ve started to plan the work that needs doing, you can start to build a schedule, much like a project would do.

We’ll look at this process in more detail in the next post.

How do I schedule time for my PMO?

A schedule for your PMO will look similar to a project schedule, but it won’t have an end date. There will be some tasks that repeat long into the future.

To get a smooth schedule for your office, you want to establish an operating rhythm. Each person in the office should have a broad idea of what they need to be doing each day, such as preparing reports each Monday or reviewing KPIs the last week of each quarter.

Plan these recurring tasks in a calendar to establish everything that needs to be done regularly. You may be surprised how much of the workload in your office is taken by these tasks!

Next, there will be one-off tasks like setting up new projects, closing projects, making a proposal for a new tranche of projects. Plug these into your calendar, too.

We have a post all about creating your office schedule coming up.

How can I monitor my PMO time management?

As with every process your PMO works with, you want to ensure it’s working well. Monitoring your PMO efficiency in terms of time management is crucial.

Once you have your plan and schedule, you need to define what success looks like. From there, you have a range of tools that can help ensure effective PMO time management, such as:

  • Screen recorders
  • To-do lists that are submitted each week
  • Task management software with reporting

While other indicators of successful time management might be indirect, such as reporting being on schedule.

We have a post that goes into more detail on this soon.

How can I control project time management in the long term?

During the process of monitoring the schedule you created, you should be able to identify anything that throws off your plans.

This could be anything from a task regularly taking longer than planned to a project or other business area pulling on your resources more than expected. Each issue needs to be investigated and solutions found.

More on this in an upcoming post.

PMO time management

Getting your PMO time management right is different to project time management in some ways. You have recurring task to deal with and other tasks can come into the office with little planning.