HomeBusinessPMO vs. Project Management Professionals: Difference

PMO vs. Project Management Professionals: Difference

Many people still need clarification on what PMO and Project Managers do. First, both are terms used for roles developed within the scope of Project Management, but with different performances.

It is common for people to say, “So and so is the PMO of project x,” – referring to the person who runs and manages the project. And most of the time, this form is incorrect. See below what PMO means and the difference in the role of the Project Manager.

What Is a PMO?

When you search for “PMO meaning,” that is, the meaning of PMO, you will find that it is not about a person or professional qualification. PMO, what is it then? It is the acronym for Project Management Office; that is, it is the project office of a company.

Although PMO is the Project Office, this acronym is also used by the professional who works in the project office, which would then be the Project Management Officer – notice with an “r” at the end.

In this case, when someone asks: how can I get back into the job market as a PMO? She is right in her position.

But let’s go back to the Project Office; what is it? It is an organizational structure that provides support, which creates the methodology and is the guardian of this knowledge regarding Project Management in the organization, as it audits and supports the work of project managers.

What Are PMI And PMO?

But if there is confusion between PMO and project manager, imagine between PMI and PMO, which are very similar acronyms?!

While PMO means Project Management Office, PMI is the acronym for Project Management Institute, which is the world’s best-known institute in the area of ​​Project Management, which publishes the PMBOK Guide every four years, where best practices are gathered for project management. In addition, PMI has a process to certify professionals in the area, such as the PMP ( Project Management Professional) certification, one of the best-known and requested by the market.

Professional Project Managers: What Is PMO In Project Management?

If the PMO definition is Project Management Office and it does all that we said before, who is the Project Manager and what does it do?

The professional  Project Manager is responsible for running the project, planning, bringing people together, leading, and managing its execution. He is not necessarily the technical responsible for the project; in fact, the project manager, strictly speaking, does not need to have specific technical knowledge related to the project’s central theme. Still, if he has it, it will undoubtedly help.

Of course, he will need to have training in some specific area. However, he will also need other requirements.

How To Deploy A PMO? Does Your Company Need One?

Many business owners may wonder if they need a project management office.

My answer: it will depend on the demand for projects carried out by the company.

Putting this area to work often won’t even depend on a “PMO course.” A project management consultancy from an experienced consultant can help a lot for the implementation to be successful.

It is clear, based on data, that a PMO can reduce project failures, increase productivity, deliver projects on time and reduce project costs; many entrepreneurs can be genuinely encouraged to invest in  ​​this implementation.

Current State Analysis

In the initial implementation phase, involving the interested parties (stakeholders) and their expectations is essential to establish the right objectives.

Stakeholders include management, executives, project managers, controllers, and other employees.

Then it is necessary to study the weaknesses in the methods that already exist in the company to know the types of projects, the processes, and the tools used by the project managers.

What Is The PMO Concept?

In this step, it will be necessary to define activities, areas of responsibility of the PMO and competencies, the hierarchical position in which the PMO will fit, and the team that will compose the PMO.

But in addition, it is also necessary to define the type of Project Management Office: Support, Control or Director.

Internal PMO

The internal PMO is when there is a need to create its internal department to be the guardian of project management best practices, as we are addressing now.

This department carries out a diagnosis to identify the organization’s culture, learn about what professionals offer, and, from there, generate standards, processes, and templates. It may take longer, but it also tends to have a higher level of acceptance among the company’s professionals.

Therefore, when implementing an internal PMO, the entire company must become aware of it. There are three possibilities, which depend on the demands and sizes of companies:

Weather Station

Collects project status information, consolidates it, and passes it on to management. It is a model where objective data is gathered about all the projects that are being developed.

It can be composed of one person or a group of people, depending on the number of projects that that organization is developing.

Control Tower

It has more functions than the weather station, including defining a project management methodology and developing templates, processes, and ways of supporting project managers.

Resource Source

This type of project office does everything from prioritizing, selecting, managing portfolios and resources, authorizing projects, defining processes, and monitoring and auditing projects.

Outsourced PMO

In addition to the types mentioned above, there is also a way to implement a PMO in your organization in an outsourced format. 

It is a way of using the concept of a PMO where someone is hired from the outside, a consultancy, who will apply a defined method for the entire organization, for an area, for some projects, or just for a specific project.

Also Read: 6 Benefits A Team Management Platform Can Bring

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