Types of Project Management Offices (PMO) based on PMI standards

Every one of us feels very excited to work on his first project, but when he gets assigned to tasks from other projects then he will get bored and will not be interested in handling any further tasks. When there are 2 or 3 projects within the institution then things will be under control, but with the expansion of institutions and having many projects running at the same time the management will divide the tasks based on priority, and usually this tactic ends failing because setting priority is not an easy thing to do, also having many small projects which consume around 40% of the institution’s resources which are allocated to other projects. PMO is responsible for all these challenges and finding a way to solve them.

Do all PMOs follow the same technique?

There are many types of PMOs that vary in how much they control and influence projects within the institution, its role also changes from providing support to direct administration of the projects. The best choice for your institution depends on the size and nature of the work as well as the existing culture.

Types of Project Management Offices


There are many classifications for Project Management offices; in this article we discuss the most 3 recognized and agreed on types by researchers and Project experts are:

1- Supportive PMO

Low control

This type provides support as consultations available upon request. It also provides forms, information, technical support and training to the project team without imposing control on their project or activities.

This type of offices fits institutions that are known for their successful projects and are only in need for some sort of data center. It's also characterized by its low level of control on projects and teams, in addition to following unified standards in all projects.

2- Controlling PMO

Moderate control

This type of offices provides a unified framework for the institution, which requires adjustments and modifications on the used methodologies, as well as forms and applications. Also, it imposes a moderate level of control on projects and their activities. This form is used within institutions that are interested in having some control on their activities, processes and procedures.

3- Directive PMO

High control

This type is known for its high control on projects, or even fully managing projects with providing needed resources and support. The office defines managers to run it directly after contacting for the PMO project. This type also provides high professionalism in managing projects, where every manager has to write periodic reports for the office which guarantees a high level of consistency in work on projects level.

This type fits big institutions that need technical support in many and various places.

  Other classifications for POMs type's

The Project Management Institute (PMI) classifies PMOs to five different types:

1- Departmental: Supports specific business units or divisions.

2- Project-specific: Oversees the success of a particular project.

3- Strategic: Oversees a major organizational change.

4- Project-support: Handles administrative tasks to speed project completion.

5- Center of Excellence: Handles training and developing project managers.

  From an organizational point of view, PMOs can be classified to one of the following types:

1- Enterprise PMO.

2- Organizational (departmental) PMO.

3- Special- purpose PMO.


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