Project management office (PMO) is an organizational structure that standardize the project management processes and provide facilitation to share all type of resources, tools and techniques, frameworks, models and methodologies. PMO has the responsibility to perform project management support functions and to instruct the management of project(s). Project management office provide guidelines as and when needed.

Project management office (PMO) is an organizational structure that standardize the project management processes and provide facilitation to share all type of resources, tools and techniques, frameworks, models and methodologies.
Project Management Office

There are numerous types of PMOs in the organizations, and each type has different degree of control and influence over projects. Here is the detail of three type of PMO; supportive, controlling and directive:


This type of PMO provide a supportive role to project management by providing supportive documents like prominent contract clauses, templates (risk impact and probability assessment matrix, risk breakdown structure (RBS), risk register, issue register, work breakdown structure (WBS), responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), quality management plan, stakeholder register, and change register etc.), best practices (defining deliverables and milestones, avoid scope creep, defining roles and responsibilities, adherence with quality standards, commitments, monitoring and tracking, change control through change control board (CCB), conflict/issues management, and prompt decision making etc.), training (scope identification and development work plan, work breakdown structure, activity scheduling and sequencing, risk identification, resource requirement determination, and maintain progress record etc.), access to information (project status information, budget and cost information, deliverables and milestone’s deadline etc.), and lessons learned from previously executed projects. Supportive PMO serves as a project repository or project database. Supportive PMO has low degree of control.


This type of PMO provide support and need compliance through different means. Controlling PMO has moderate degree of control. Compliance may involve: Implementation of project management frameworks, models, methodologies, and tools and techniques. Use of standard templates for different project management plans, and conformance to governance frameworks. Controlling PMO ensure systematic approach to manage project management processes and use of frameworks and models to achieve project goals and objectives. Project management produce better results by adopting standardized approach. Controlling PMO perform assessments, reviews and audits to track the progress of the project. After review suggest or advise corrective actions.


This type of PMO take control of the projects by directly managing the projects. In directive PMO, Project managers are assigned by and report to the PMO. The degree of control provided by the PMO is high. PMO directly issues instructions and compliance guidelines to project managers and take reports. In large projects where no of employees are large, team members may directly report to project management office. Irrespective of above two PMOs; supportive and controlling, directive PMO manage project directly. Directive PMO lowers the cost by centralize services.

Project management office may have responsibility of whole organization. It may play a role to support processes for strategic alignment. The PMO gather data and analyze it to find that whether organizational strategic goals and objectives are met or not, and it also evaluate data to find at which extent objective are met. It is not necessary that the projects managed by PMO are related projects, projects may differ but are managed by same PMO. PMO serve as the liaison between the organization’s portfolios, projects and programs. The structure of the PMO is the same as the organizational structure of the organization being undertaking the project. A PMO act as a key stakeholder to make decisions as and when needed through the life cycle of the project. A PMO may: Give recommendations, provide platform for knowledge transfer, decide to terminate project(s), and may take corrective actions. Following are the some of the important functions of a PMO but are not limited to:

  • Effectively manage common resources among all projects managed by Project Management Office.
  • Identify and develop project management frameworks, methodologies, and models.
  • Training, knowledge sharing, coaching and mentoring etc.
  • Ensuring and monitoring compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs), rules and regulations, policies and guidelines.
  • Developing and managing project management rules and regulations, policies and guidelines, standard operating procedures (SOPs) etc.
  • Coordination and communication among projects administered by Project Management Office. And
  • Develop templates, standard documents, forms and registers (risk register, issues register, stakeholder register etc.)

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