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Program Management is a time-honored approach to the management and execution of complex relationships. It was first deployed in the Defense Industry and then honed to a science in NASA programs. Implicit in the PMO approach is the idea that the relationship between a Program Office and its subcontractors is complementary to the accountability required to make things work. You can not treat a subcontractor the way that you treat a subordinate.
For more information, please see: http://blog.pmosig.org/
The Importance of a Solid PMO
The Project Management Office(PMO) in a business or professional enterprise is the department or group that defines and maintains the standards of process within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of scale / repetition in the execution of projects. For RPO specifically, the PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution. In some organisations this is known as the Program Management Office (sometimes abbreviated to PgMO to differentiate); the subtle difference is that program management relates to governing the management of several related projects.
For more information, please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management_office
Theoretically, a PMO works in five key areas:
- Governance: Defining roles and responsibilities, and providing oversight
- Management: Planning and administering both projects and the overall program
- Financial management: Implementation of specific fiscal practices and controls
- Infrastructure: The program office, technology, and other factors in the work environment supporting the program effort
- Planning: Activities that take place at multiple levels, with different goals. The program plan is not a traditional plan
A PMO requires a different discipline than traditional operations management. It focuses on the generation and on-going documentation of requirements, the management of escalations and problem resolution, and setting the vision and strategy for the organization.
For the most part, the PMO approach is undeveloped in HR Departments. Both the approach and the core skills needed seem unnecessary to people who are trying to a focus on tactical, day-to-day operational management. But when a company moves to an RPO-supported deliver model, it is often to become more strategic as an organization, and that shift requires a solid PMO and people with the skills and experience to run it.
For more information on developing a robust PMO, see: