Coming out of the Gate Strong: Building a Project Management Office (for the Right Reasons) – Part II

Now that we are convinced that a PMO can successfully drive project value , let’s talk about next steps.  Much like a company, a PMO needs a well-defined structure in place to deliver value.

Here are five key questions to consider coming out of the gate:

  1. What are the business drivers that the PMO will address? In order to drive strategic value, the objectives of the PMO need to be linked to banks’ overall objectives. Specific goals should be articulated to assure alignment.
  2. What is the PMO’s mission? This may seem very high level, but the rationale for this is pragmatic. Everyone needs to know the reason for the project office. For example, many PMO’s are formed to effectively share resources across functions.
  3. What are the key goals by time frame? It is important to communicate what is going to happen and when. Since, a project office involves coordination and communication it is good to communicate key milestones up front.
  4. Do you have the right leader? The executive sponsor needs to be able to work across functional lines to assure that things get done. A strong sponsor is key to execution. Research has shown that strong sponsorship is a critical success factor.
  5. Who is responsible? A main reason projects fail is lack of role definition. A project office isn’t any different. The best practice is to lay out key activities, who is responsible and how they will interact with other individuals involved.

Once the answers to these questions are published and socialized in the form of a charter, you are off to a good start. In my next installment, I will cover the necessary steps to setting up your operating model.  If you have questions or comments on establishing your PMO, reach out to Ray Trotta at

Phone: 312-602-4000
222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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